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.



Recipe from

Food & Wine


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.

Wine Recommendation: 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.