Steve's Reduced Shrimp Stock
- 5 lbs large fresh shrimp with shells and heads
- 6 oz (weight) shallots - coarsely chopped
- 4 oz (weight) garlic - chopped
- 4 large branches fresh thyme
- cooking oil
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 Tbs salt
Use only fresh shrimp - not frozen. Remove shrimp heads and shells and place shells and heads in a large container. Open each shrimp head. Place the shelled shrimp in a covered container and refrigerate for use in Shrimp Bisque or Shrimp Scampi.
Place the heads and shells in a wide shallow pot and sauté in oil over high heat until all shells are red and the liquid is gone.
Then place head and shells in a large deep pot and cover with water. Add the thyme, black pepper and salt and bring to boil. Once the pot starts to boil, turn heat down to a fast simmer. Lightly sauté the shallots and garlic in oil and add to the stock.
Once the stock has been reduced by half, pour the stock through a fine strainer into a large flat pan and continue to reduce the strained stock in the pan. Return the solids from the strainer back into the deep pot, cover with water once again and reduce a second time. Once this second stock has been reduced by half, add it to the previous reduction in the large flat pan by pouring it once again through the fine strainer. Continue to reduce the combined stocks in the large flat pan. This process may be repeated a total of three times to extract all the flavor from the shrimp heads and shells.
Continue to reduce the combined stocks until the final reduction is slightly thick. As the stock get thicker, occasionally use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the pan back into the liquid. Turn down the heat towards the end of the reduction process so that the stock doesn't reduce too much and burn. This recipe should yield about 3 cups of reduced shrimp stock.