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Southern Style Barbecue Beer Shrimp and Grits

Southern Style Barbecue Beer Shrimp and Grits

I’m gonna let you in on something. People send me recipes all the time, and I ignore them. Beer bread! Yes, I’m well aware. Beer can chicken! Done it. Rissotto but with beer! Mucho familiar. This goes on and on until the end of time. 

When you spend more hours than your basic levels of sanity will allow creating compelling recipes that include beer, you’ve explored all the far reaches of cooking with your favorite fermented beverages. But every once in awhile, someone will send me something that I feel an overwhelming need to make.

A good friend sent me a link to this recipe from Seattle chef Matt Lewis with the message, "This was the best thing I ate in college." And obviously this is a glowing review, but what makes it even more so is that she’s Southern. When a Southerner sends you another Southerns recipe for shrimp and grits, YOU MAKE IT. 

And it was fantastic. So obviously, now it’s your turn to make it. 

Southern Style Barbecue Beer Shrimp and Grits

Adapted from Chef Matt Lewis' Shrimp and Grits
5 from 1 vote
Servings 4 servings


For the grits:

  • ¼ cup (57g) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup (25g) diced white onion
  • 2 cups (312g) dry corn grits
  • 6 cups (48oz) chicken broth or stock
  • 1 ½ cups (342g) half-and-half
  • 1 cup (130g) shredded cheddar
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt plus additional to taste this will depend on how salty your broth is

For the shrimp:

  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 3 tablespoons (42g) butter
  • 1 lbs raw shrimp peeled and deveined (strongly recommend red shrimp*)
  • 1 shallot blub minced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/3 cup (65g) beer (light lager, wheat beer, pilsner)
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 3 tablespoons (42g) lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • In a large sauce pan melt the butter. Add the onions, cooking until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the grits, cooking until coated in butter and starting to smell slightly like popcorn.
  • Stir in the broth, reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, stir in the cream and continue to cook until grits have softened, about an additional 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the cheese, hot sauce and salt.
  • In a small bowl stir together the cornstarch and spices (first 10 ingredients in the shrimp list), set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a large sauce pan. Add the shallots, cook until starting to soften, add the shrimp, toss until starting to cook. Stir in the garlic. Sprinkle with the spice mixture, stir to combine. Add the beer, hot sauce, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce, simmer until thickened.
  • Ladle the grits into 4 bowls, top with shrimp and sauce, sprinkle with parsley.


*Red shrimp, or Argentine red shrimp, is sweeter, milder and have a taste closer to lobster. They don’t turn rubbery when fully cooked, they stay soft and tender. The flavor and texture are far superior to other varieties and makes it well worth the time it takes to seek them out. Because they often come from South America, they are often found in the frozen section. 

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Sharon September 25, 2020 um 4:49 am

5 stars
Can’t wait to try this. It has all the ingredients I love!


Sharon October 13, 2020 um 2:42 pm

I made this tonight. It was so delicious. Will definitely make again!!


Big Frankie September 20, 2022 um 12:47 pm

Easily the best shrimp and grits ever. Been using these Argentinian shrimp for a while, great flavor and texture. The sauce is a flavor bomb. Grits are corny, cheesy heaven. Make this!


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