Most people, especially native New Orleanians, believe that barbecue shrimp was “invented” at Pascal’s Manale. This New Orleans landmark restaurant has been serving signature Italian-Creole dishes on Napoleon Avenue for almost 100 years. It is still under debate why the term barbecue shrimp is used because there is no open fire, grill or barbecue sauce involved. Likely the use of Worcestershire sauce with its smokey flavor brought about the name.
I was first introduced to barbecue shrimp by my father. About three or four times a year, he would cook up two pans for my family. Although not a cook, this was the one dish he did do and it was done to perfection. Over the years, I have watched him make his infamous barbecue shrimp and have it sealed in my memory forever. I’m glad to share it with you.
The key to this dish is the shrimp. Always use extra large head-on shrimp, nothing less than a 25 count. The heads and shells are where the flavor is found. The natural fats from the heads really make this dish truly spectacular. You will also need a good loaf or two of French bread. The sauce along with the French bread could stand alone as a meal.
You will notice from the recipe that lots of butter is used. Don’t try to make this healthy, as it will not turn out as you expect. Do not skimp on the real butter.