Duck Camp Shrimp and Grits

John Besh

Besh Restaurant Group, New Orleans

This is such a simple, iconic Louisiana partnership: our wild Gulf shrimp served over excellent grits. The quality of the shrimp really matters here, because they’re not cooked long, just quickly sautéed in olive oil. After the shrimp are briefly cooked, they’re removed from the skillet and returned just when the light sauce is ready to be ladled over the grits.

Adapted from Besh Big Easy: 101 Home Cooked New Orleans Recipes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 30 jumbo wild American shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Salt
  • 1 cup sliced Andouille or other smoked pork sausage
  • 1 pound fresh pork sausage, casings removed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 cups shrimp stock (homemade* or store-bought; if unavailable, use fish stock)
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • Baked Cheesy Grits


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season the shrimp with salt and sauté until they start to brown but are not cooked all the way through. Remove the shrimp and set aside.

In the same pan, sauté the smoked sausage, crumbled sausage, onions, garlic, and thyme until aromatic, about 5 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce the sauce until it’s nice and thick, 3 to 5 minutes. Return the shrimp to the skillet and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and lemon juice.

Serve the shrimp in a big tureen topped with the green onions, with the grits on the side.

*Making stock is not complicated. I start by adding 1 pound shrimp heads shells to a stockpot. I then add a couple of chopped carrots and celery stalks along with a few cloves of crushed garlic and a couple of bay leaves. Then I pour in enough cool water to cover the bones by a few inches and bring to a boil. Then simply simmer for about 2 hours. Strain it all and you’re done. (And remember, in a pinch, do as so many New Orleans home cooks do: use water.)


6 servings