- Combine water and first five ingredients in a large stock pot (one with a removable strainer basket is useful), stir, and bring to a boil.
- Add potatoes and boil for 15 minutes. Add sausage and boil for 5 additional minutes. Add corn and boil for 5 additional minutes.
- Turn off heat completely, add shrimp, and stir. Close lid and allow shrimp to steam until they turn pink (about 3 minutes—it is critical not to overcook shrimp). Drain immediately (if you have a pot with a removable strainer, carefully remove it from the pot).
- Dump entire contents of pot onto table covered with newspaper (a piece of plywood supported between two sawhorses is ideal). Serve with cocktail sauce, beer, and lots of paper towels.