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Jalapeno-Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp with Cherry Cola Barbecue Sauce

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 55 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Cherry Cola Barbecue Sauce:

2 tablespoons bacon grease or vegetable oil

1 cup finely diced red onion 

2 cloves garlic, minced 

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika 

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 

1/4 teaspoon mustard powder 

Pinch freshly ground black pepper 

2 cups cherry cola 

1/2 cup red wine vinegar 

1 cup ketchup 

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Shrimp:

16 extra-large shrimp (about 12 ounces), peeled and deveined, tails on

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

1 jalapeno, stemmed and seeded, cut lengthwise into 16 thin strips 

8 slices center-cut bacon, halved crosswise 


Special equipment:
16 toothpicks
  1. For the barbecue sauce: Heat the bacon grease in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the red onions, and sweat until translucent. Add the garlic; cook an additional minute. Add the garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, mustard powder and black pepper, and toast the spices until fragrant and deep maroon in color, 1 minute. Whisk in the cherry cola, red wine vinegar and ketchup until combined. Bring to a boil and cook until the sauce has reduced to 2 cups and coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool slightly, and then puree in a blender until smooth. (Extra sauce can be kept refrigerated up to 1 week.)
  2. For the shrimp: Preheat a cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium heat.
  3. Sprinkle the shrimp with salt and pepper. Insert a jalapeno slice into the "spine" of each shrimp (where it's been deveined) and then wrap tightly with a half piece of bacon to keep the jalapeno in place. Secure with toothpicks.
  4. Place the shrimp, seam-side-down, in the skillet and cook, turning occasionally, until the bacon is crisp and the shrimp are just cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes.
  5. Serve the shrimp with the barbecue sauce for dipping.