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Shrimp Boil with Spicy Butter Sauce

Shell the shrimp right at the table and then dunk each one into our positively addictive cayenne-spiced sauce. For tamer tastes, serve the shrimp with lemon wedges instead.

slideshow More Amazing Shrimp Recipes

  • Servings: 4

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  • 1 1/2 quarts water
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into thin slices
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 5 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cayenne
  • 4 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 2 pounds large shrimp, in their shells
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter
  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice


  1. In a large pot, combine the water, vinegar, lemon slices, garlic, Old Bay Seasoning, peppercorns, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, 1/4 teaspoon of the cayenne, and the bay leaves. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the shrimp to the pot. Cover and bring back to a boil. Then continue boiling, partially covered, until the shrimp are just done, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain.
  3. In a small stainless-steel saucepan, melt the butter. Remove the pan from the heat and add the Worcestershire sauce, the lemon juice, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon cayenne. Divide the sauce among four small bowls. Serve the shrimp with the butter dipping sauce.

Suggested Pairing

Pop open a cold beer for this one, or be adventurous and try pairing the spiciness of the shrimp boil with a palate-cleansing, refreshing sparkling wine from California or Australia.

Photo © Melanie Acevedo

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