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Buttered shrimp and grits

Rustle up buttered shrimp in a smoky paprika sauce, served with bacon over a bed of smooth and creamy grits. These comforting bowls make for a hearty brunch to serve four



  • 360g jumbo shrimp, deveined
  • ground to make 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 250g thick-cut smoked bacon or pancetta, cubed
  • 120ml bourbon
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped to make 2 tsp
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • roughly chopped to make 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced


  • 225g stoneground coarse grits (not polenta)
  • 850ml whole milk
  • 2½ tbsp unsalted butter
  • 125g gruyère, finely grated

Recipe Direction :

  • STEP 1

    Put the shrimp in a bowl and season with the pepper, cayenne, smoked paprika and 1½ tsp of salt. Chill until needed. Tip the grits into a pan then pour over the milk. Start to stir, then turn on the heat to medium and bring to the boil. Once the milk starts to simmer, turn down the heat slightly and stir continuously for 8-10 minutes to ensure the grits don’t become lumpy.

  • STEP 2

    When the grits have absorbed most of the liquid and are the consistency of thick porridge, add the butter and cheese, stirring continuously to ensure the grits are smooth. Season to taste, then set aside and keep warm.

  • STEP 3

    Cook the smoked bacon in a hot pan for 5-7 minutes or until the fat has rendered. When the bacon is golden, remove to a bowl using a slotted spoon and set aside.

  • STEP 4

    Turn down the heat to medium and carefully pour the bourbon into the pan to deglaze it. It will bubble a little, then start to reduce. Cook until reduced by half. Add the butter and let it melt into the bourbon and bacon fat.

  • STEP 5

    Add the garlic, fry for a minute, then add the seasoned shrimp, flat-sides down. Cook for 2-3 minutes then turn the shrimp over. Return the cooked bacon to the pan with the lemon juice and cook for 2 minutes, then turn up the heat slightly so the pan juices begin to bubble and create a light sauce. Once the shrimp turn pink and have curled slightly, they’re ready. Remove from the heat.

  • STEP 6

    Spoon generous helpings of the grits onto plates, then pile the shrimp and bacon mixture into the centre of the grits. Spoon over the juices from the pan and sprinkle with some of the parsley and spring onions.