Peeling shrimp and just throwing those shells away? How could you throw away that Pink Gold?!? You are an hour away from having a flavorful stock that will blow away that "stock" they sell in the stores.
You start with a little oil in a saucepan and once it is heated and ready, add onion, smashed garlic, bay leaves, and the shells (shrimp or lobster are most common). The shells will turn a beautiful pink and turn fragrant. After sautéing for a few minutes, it is time to add the liquids, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer.
This stock freezes well and is great as the liquid needed for gumbos, bisques, or any dish where stock is needed for seafood (you often see calls for chicken or vegetable stock instead of shell stock). Have shrimp shells leftover, but do not need the stock or do not have time to make it just now? Freeze the shells in a ziplock until you are ready.
This version is concentrated, but feel free to add more water to round it out.
40-60 Shrimp Shells
Oil for sautéing
½ - 1 Onion, rough chop
5 Garlic cloves, crushed
5 Bay Leaves
½ cup Lemon Juice
3 – 4c Water
¾ c Worcestershire Sauce
½ c Dry White Wine (Chardonnay is great here)
1. Shell shrimp.
2. Make shellstock by heating oil in saucepan and sauteing the onion, garlic, and bay leaves for one minute. Add shells and sauté until red and toasty. Add rest of ingredients. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer for about 30 minutes and strain.