N'awlins BBQ Crab

September 17, 2012

Author Notes: BBQ crab is not a tomato based sauce. It is a way to enjoy the succulent and salty brine of sweet crab. You can use split king crab legs or nice sized dugeness legs (or even shrimp!), but skip the snow crab...you want large pieces of crab to swish in the salty, spicy butter. And lots of crusty bread to sop up the broth.lorigoldsby

Serves: 4


  • 4 king crab leg or dungeness crab (1 per person)
  • 10 tablespoons sweet butter
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 anchovy fillet
  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 2-3 sprigs EACH of fresh thyme and rosemary
  • 8-12 ounces dark beer
  • 5-10 dashes tabasco
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 loaf of good, crusty bread
In This Recipe


  1. Thaw crab legs. If you are making this for a crowd or dinner party....lower all of the interior racks, place a pan of boiling water in the oven (warm or lowest setting) and then place a wire cooling rack on top of the pan, crab can "hold" here until company arrives and you are ready to serve.
  2. In a heavy skillet melt the butter over low heat, add the garlic to infuse and soften. increase the flame to med-high and add the beer, allowing it to reduce and burn off some of the alcohol. (I vary between using a cup or the 12 oz whole bottle--I don't like beer as a beverage--so if my husband is home, I'll give him the rest of the bottle...if not, I'll dump the whole thing in)
  3. Add herbs, worcestershire sauce and tabasco. Add anchovy and smash anchovy with the back of a wooden spoon. Sauce can hold for several hours until you are ready to serve...just bring up to a low simmer when ready to serve.
  4. Prep gremolata: zest lemon, add rough chopped parsley and salt and smash with side of knife.
  5. Prep bread: If you can't get a good quality crusty bread...if you "sprinkle a little water on an unbaked loaf and then sprinkle a little kosher salt on top and bake in a HOT 400 oven...you will elevate your supermarket bread to a nice crusty finish.
  6. Break crab legs into LARGE bite sized pieces. (we like to use split king crab legs for this purpose-if using dungeness crab--break at each joint and have seafood forks or picks available) toss in butter sauce to coat. Sprinkle gremolata on top.
  7. serve with bread and LOTS of napkins...although you'll be suprised how well everyone will do just by lickin' their fingers!

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