Recipe courtesy of The Coop Restaurant

Southern Shrimp and Grits

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 11 hr (includes thawing time)
  • Active: 1 hr 35 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Shrimp Stock:

1 pound medium shrimp (25 to 30 count)

1 tablespoon olive oil 

2 stalks celery with leaves, thinly sliced 

1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced 

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 

8 ounces tomato paste 

3 quarts cold water 


1 1/4 cups stone ground yellow grits

4 cups homemade shrimp stock

3 tablespoons unsalted butter 

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt 

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

1/4 cup heavy cream 

Shrimp Topping:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 ounces tasso ham, diced (can substitute thick prosciutto or smoked ham) 

One 4-ounce link andouille sausage, diced 

1 teaspoon chopped garlic 

1/4 teaspoon cayenne 

1/2 tomato, diced 

1/4 cup sliced green onion (green tops only) 

1/2 cup chicken stock 

Hot sauce, for garnish 


  1. First make the shrimp stock: If the shrimp are frozen, place in colander set over a bowl in the refrigerator and thaw overnight. Save all the liquid that thaws from shrimp. Next, peel the shrimp, including tails, and reserve the shells. Butterfly the shrimp and remove impurities; set the shrimp aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. Heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy stockpot over medium-high heat, and then add the reserved shrimp shells. Stir occasionally until all the shells are pink and, in places, golden.
  3. Add the celery, onion, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Saute until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato paste and stir until it coats the shells and vegetables. Add the reserved juices from thawing the shrimp (if applicable) and water. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and maintain a low simmer for 1 hour.
  5. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve, crushing all the liquid from the shells and vegetables using a wooden spoon. Set the stock aside.
  6. Next make the grits: Rinse the grits in a large bowl of cold water, removing any bran or hulls that float to the surface. Drain well. Combine 4 cups of the shrimp stock, the butter, salt and pepper in a medium saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Whisk in the grits. Turn the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until soft and creamy, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream. Keep warm.
  7. To make the shrimp topping: Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook until they are just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the saute pan and set aside. To the same pan, add the tasso and andouille and cook until beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cayenne, stirring to combine then add the tomato and green onion and saute 30 seconds.
  8. Return the shrimp to the pan, add the chicken stock and simmer until slightly reduced, 1 to 2 minutes. Swirl in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter.
  9. To assemble, divide the grits among 4 serving bowls and add a portion of the shrimp mixture to each serving. Top with a splash of hot sauce.