Ale-Poached Shrimp with Saffron Sauce

Serving Size: 4
Total Time:


  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1.25 Pound shelled and deveined large shrimp, tails left on
  • 24 Ounce Belgian-style blond ale, such as Leffe
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • kosher salt
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • 2 cup vegetable stock or low-sodium broth
  • 2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 scallion, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Pound thick asparagus—woody ends trimmed, tips halved lengthwise and stalks thinly sliced crosswi


  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter in the extra-virgin olive oil. Add the scallions and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the heavy cream, vegetable stock and saffron and bring just to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is reduced to 1 3/4 cups, about 15 minutes. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve into a small saucepan and season with salt and pepper. Keep the saffron sauce warm over low heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large, deep saucepan, bring the ale just to a simmer. Add the shrimp and poach over moderate heat until they are just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a plate, pat dry and season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a medium saucepan of salted boiling water, blanch the asparagus pieces until they are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the asparagus to paper towels to drain.
  4. Spoon the saffron sauce into shallow bowls, top with the blanched asparagus and poached shrimp and serve.

Make Ahead
The saffron sauce can be refrigerated overnight and gently reheated before serving; add a little water or vegetable stock, if necessary.

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Recipe Credit: Luca Cerato
Image Credit: Martin Morrell