Shrimp Cocktail – Classic French Recipe

Shrimp cocktail based on a recipe by the great French cooks Julia Child and Jacques Pepin. Demonstrated here by Heather Johnston, food and wine blogger from sogood TV. Now while Heather says that you don't have to devein shrimp and if you cook them strictly speaking that is true. But the truth is that "vein" you are removing not really a vein but the shrimp's poop shoot. If its black you know what its filled with - might be grit might be something else. Certainly doesn't add to the dish. To devein or not to devein - that is the question - is up to you.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

Recipe: Shrimp Cocktail

Summary: Shrimp Cocktail - based on classic recipe by famous french chefs Julia Chid & Jaque Pepin


  • 2 pounds jumbo or colossal shrimp, deveined and peeled, shells reserved
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 slices lemon peel, each about 1-2 inches
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 rib celery, sliced
  • 2 sprigs tarragon
  • 2 sprigs Italian parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons horseradish (add less or more to taste)


  1. Use large shrimp, peel shrimp and devein
  2. Save shrimp shells - set aside for poaching liquid Fill large pot with water
  3. Add white wine
  4. Add lemon juice and lemon peel
  5. Add onion to liquid
  6. Add carrot
  7. Add celery
  8. Add parsly
  9. Add bay leaves
  10. Add peppercorns
  11. Add salt
  12. Stir together and bring to a boil
  13. Lower heat and let simmer for 20 minutes
  14. Add shrimp and bring back up to a low boil
  15. Add remaining ingredients, including shrimp shells. Bring to a boil, let simmer for 20 minutes. Add shrimp, let come back to a low boil, poach for 30 seconds to 1 minute (less time if shrimp are smaller.) Turn off heat, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes.
  16. Shrimp cook quickly so only poach for 30 seconds to a minute.
  17. The shrimp is done when it is just cooked through, with a firm bite. Don't overcook
  18. Ladle shrimp and broth into container and refrigerate until chilled.
  19. While shrimp is chilling mix together ketchup and horseradish to taste for a classic cocktail sauce. If you don't want the sauce as hot add less horseradish.
  20. Arrange shrimp with some lettuce and add cocktail sauce.
  21. Pair with your favorite wine or choose one of the recommendations in the video

Quick notes

Pair with the wine of your choice or follow one of Heather's suggestions in the video


When making the cocktail sauce add horseradish to taste. You might not want it as hot as I like it

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 25 minute(s)

Diet (other): Low calorie

Number of servings (yield): 6

Meal type: cocktail

Culinary tradition: French

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

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Recipe by SeafoodChef.
Microformatting by hRecipe.

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