Monday, April 16, 2018

Smothered Shrimp in Brown Gravy

Seasoned shrimp, smothered in a trinity enhanced brown gravy and best served over homemade mashed potatoes. Gravy pictured has a splash of Kitchen Bouquet added for richness.
Seasoned shrimp, smothered in a trinity enhanced brown gravy and best served over homemade mashed potatoes. Gravy pictured has a splash of Kitchen Bouquet added for richness.

Smothered Shrimp in Brown Gravy

Okay, you have probably not considered shrimp cooked in a brown, beef-based gravy, I'll give you that.

In a gumbo or stew form, shrimp is usually prepared with water, a shrimp stock, or maybe even chicken stock, but beef stock? Sounds a little odd for sure! This was not a dish my Mama ever made, and I remember thinking the very same thing first time I saw it, until... I tasted it. Fabulous!

Consider this. A simple, rich brown gravy roux and the trinity, with seasoned shrimp tossed in and served over (preferably homemade) mashed potatoes... what could possibly be disagreeable about that?

I guess you could say this is something of an etoufee or maybe even a shrimp stew, and as simple as can be, but so very delicious. I start mine with a little bacon, then cook the trinity in the drippings, add flour, some beef broth (if you completely object to the use of beef broth, you can substitute chicken or seafood stock), and stir in the shrimp and bacon. Serve over homemade mashed potatoes, rice, noodles, grits or even some homemade biscuits.

Gravy pictured at the top has Kitchen Bouquet stirred in for color and extra richness.

Kitchen Bouquet, is a browning and seasoning sauce and a pantry staple in this part of the Deep South where I'm from. Usually found in the condiments aisle, or near the dried herbs and seasonings, it is made with herbs, spices and pureed vegetables. When used in stews, sauces and gravies, it adds depth of flavor and richer color.

So simple, so delicious - try it! I got a feeling you'll fall in love with it. Here's how to make it.

For more of my favorite shrimp recipes, visit my collection on Pinterest!

Recipe: Smothered Shrimp in Brown Gravy

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 20 min |Cook time: 10 min |
Total time: 30 min
Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • Homemade mashed potatoes rice
  • 2 pounds small (51/60 count) raw, peeled shrimp
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste, optional
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet, optional

Prepare mashed potatoes or rice. Toss shrimp with salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning; set aside. Cook bacon in a skillet on medium heat until crisp, remove and set aside, leaving drippings in skillet; add shrimp and cook for two minutes; remove and set aside. Add half of the butter to drippings and the onion, bell pepper and celery, cooking for about 3 minutes or just until soft, but not browned. Add the garlic and cook another minute.

Add remaining butter and begin stirring in flour, a little at a time, until fully incorporated. Cook and stir for 4 minutes. Slowly add broth and bring to a boil, cooking until thickened. Return shrimp and any accumulated juices, along with Kitchen Bouquet, if using; reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 10 minutes or until shrimp is completely cooked through. Set aside a pinch of the bacon for garnish, if desired, and add rest to gravy. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Spoon over hot, homemade mashed potatoes or rice, or substitute noodles, grits or biscuits, and garnish with the bacon. Serve with a side of green peas, green vegetable or a nice garden salad and hot bread or rolls.


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Posted by on November 13, 2009
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  1. This would be delicious over grits.

    1. Yep that pic makes you think you are already in Charleston.

  2. I have the shrimp, or will have when I get to the Farmers Market tomorrow. Going to make this for Friday Supper but will sub in 1/2 seafood broth and 1/2 beef broth. Can't wait. The pic is super telling on what is to come.

    1. Wonderful rich tasting meal. Next time I will use all seafood broth to compare results. Either way this is a rotation type dish. I did add Gravy Master!!!

  3. When we visit Charleston, there's a restaurant on the water that serves this dish over grits. Best shrimp and grits I've ever eaten! It looks very similar to your recipe and you're right- not something you would normally put together but brown gravy and shrimp is soooo good!

    1. Add a cap full of Kitchen Bouquet or Gravy Master and the richness will be amazing looking.

    2. A very similar dish is also called Shrimp Delicate. (beef gravy sauce)

  4. Would this be light enough for breakfast/brunch? I see all the references to serving it over grits. Guess I don't think of beef as breakfast...but who doesn't love shrimp and grits for brunch?

    1. Hey we do sausage gravy with biscuits so I say why not?!

  5. Mary, My wife and I tried this for the first time last week. This, like all of your other recipes that we’ve tried, is absolutely delicious, and something we’ll definitely have again… and again. The only thing that I did differently was to serve it over grits. It's epic! Thanks again for yet another wonderful recipe. God bless.


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