Change up your grilling game with a non-traditional barbecue sauce that utilizes blueberries and spices as the highlighted flavor profile. This combination of blueberries, barbecue sauce, and shrimp is the epitome of summer on a skewer.
Blueberries naturally produce pectin, which—when mixed with tomato paste—creates a thick rib-sticking sauce. The addition of red wine creates a robust and sophisticated flavor that also helps the sauce brush easily onto the shrimp.
The barbecue sauce comes together quickly within 20 minutes of simmering and it’s ready to hit the grill. As the shrimp cook on the skewers, it picks up the classic smoky flavor profile that balances exquisitely with the sauce. Be sure to soak your skewers ahead of time to prevent them from burning on the grill.
If you do not have access to a grill, do not fret. A grill pan works wonders and will yield that same flavor-packed results.
- For the Sauce:
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- 1/2 light or dark brown sugar
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 cup full-bodied red wine (such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Syrah)
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt (divided)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- For the Shrimp:
- 1 pound 16/20 large shrimp (peeled and deveined)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoon olive oil (and more as needed)
Gather the ingredients. Place wooden skewers in a shallow pan filled with water and allow it to soak. If you use metal skewers, you do not have to soak.
Combine blueberries and brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Heat to medium-low and bring mixture to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes or until a syrup forms. Add tomato paste, red wine, apple cider vinegar, honey, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and ground allspice. Stir to combine and simmer for another 10 minutes until the sauce thickens. Cool and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl combine season shrimp with 1 teaspoon salt, black pepper, and olive oil. Thread 4 to 5 shrimp per skewer from the tail to the thick end of each shrimp.
Heat grill or grill pan to high. Oil grates as needed. Grill shrimp on one side for 2 minutes. Brush with shrimp with blueberry barbeque sauce. Flip, brush shrimp with sauce, and grill for another 2 minutes. Finished with shrimp with another coat of sauce.
Serve with more of the barbecue sauce and enjoy!