Shrimp Cocktail with Butter-Poached Shrimp

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)


  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 minutes
  • Total Time: 16 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


Poaching shrimp in butter gives it a texture and flavor similar to lobster. To make these shrimp even more special and festive they’re served with a cocktail sauce made with roasted red peppers, rosemary and garlic.


  • 1 (16 oz.) jar of roasted bell peppers that do not contain sugar or vinegar, drained
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. spicy prepared horseradish
  • 1 Tbsp. loosely packed fresh rosemary leaves
  • ½ tsp. lemon juice
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 24 oz. extra large shrimp (21-25/lb. count, about 30 shrimp), peeled and deveined but with tail on
  • 4 Tbsp. water
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter


  1. In a food processor or blender purée the drained bell peppers, ketchup, garlic, horseradish, rosemary, lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of black pepper until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Preheat oven to 200°F if desired (see Step 4 below).
  3. In a 10-inch skillet heat the water over medium heat until it bubbles. Reduce heat to low and add 1 tablespoon of the butter. Whisk gently to incorporate the butter into the water. Repeat with remaining butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking until it is melted and incorporated each time before adding the next tablespoon. Each tablespoon should take about 30 seconds to melt. Adjust heat to melt it accordingly. The butter and water should form a creamy sauce, but it’s alright if it separates since it tends to come back together again when the shrimp are added.
  4. Once all of the butter has been incorporated into the sauce, add the shrimp in a single slightly overlapping layer. Sprinkle the shrimp with a pinch or two of salt. Stir shrimp gently to coat them in the butter. Cook stirring occasionally until the shrimp are pink and slightly curled, not tightly curled, 5-7 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shrimp to a platter or pan. Blot shrimp lightly with kitchen towel to absorb some of the butter.
  5. Serve immediately with the red pepper cocktail sauce or keep warm for up to 15 minutes in the 200°F oven. Alternatively, keep the shrimp at room temperature and put them out to serve within 30 minutes. Do not refrigerate as the butter will congeal on the shrimp.