What traditionally was know as Frogmore Stew and originated in the state of South Carolina is most commonly called a Low Country Boil today. This seafood, sausage, and vegetable combination is a delight to the pallet. While at one point the seafood included was based on the catch of the day, today it consists of main staples found at the local grocery store.
Frogmore Stew originated from a National Guardsman who was forced with the task of feeding over 100 soldiers. The National Guardsman named the stew after the town that he was born and raised. However, his city of origin was renamed, thus came the term Low Country Boil. Others have various names, including Beaufort Stew, Beaufort Boil, Lowcountry boil, or a Tidewater Boil.
Dating back further, the Gullah were highly influential in utilizing locally sourced ingredients to form a one-pot dish. Having been forced from there native country and into slavery, the Gullah people primarily inhabited the Lowcountry of South Carolina and Georgia. Gullah cooking consisted of a mix of French, Spanish, and that of the native country. Just as today, the goal was to feed many people in an easy to cook manner.
What is in a Low Country Boil
A low country boil most commonly consists of the following ingredients, although both the seasoning and seafood can vary based on region.
- Old Bay or Zatarain’s Seasoning
- Red Potatoes
- Kielbasa or a form of spicy sausage
- Fresh Corn on the Cob
- Unpeeled Uncooked Raw or Frozen Shrimp
- Beer to Add to the Pot of Water (Optional)
- Crab in Various Forms Depending on the Recipe
- Cut Lemons for Squeezing
Top Three Low Country Boil Recipes
We have made quite a few Low Country Boil’s in our time in the Low Country. Although you will have to experiment a bit to find the best recipe for you, these are three really great ones.
Tricks and Tips to Making The Best Low Country Boil
- Keep the kids, pets, and visitors clear of the boiling pot when cooking or straining before serving.
- Always add the seafood last; shrimp require only three minutes of boiling time to avoid them becoming mush. As for crabs, five minutes will do the trick.
- Long-handled tongs will help avoid burns.
- Have a few crab mallets available to aid in extracting the sweet crab meat.
- This meal is a juicy mess, have a plethora of napkins or paper towels available.
- Some prefer the extra flavor, consider having extra seasoning readily available to sprinkle on.
- No need to add extra dishes, use throwaway plates and utensils.
What Sides To Serve With A Low Country Boil?
A low country boil is a one-pot meal that can serve the entire family. The combination of ingredients prevents the necessity of cooking any other sides along with it. Additionally, the preparation is a cinch. Cut the vegetables and sausage, boil the water, add the ingredients, and drain it. Just like that, you have a complete meal.
When its time to serve, line your table with newspaper and place the strained boil on directly over the newspaper. Many ask what’s with the newspaper? The newspaper takes the difficulty out of cleanup. Consider this juicy concoction with mallets pounding crabs open, shrimp shells, cobbs, etc. Leave the remnants on the table and neatly fold the soiled newspaper into a ball and drop it in the trash.
Serve it in a newspaper for easy cleanup.
A low country boil is a social experience that you, your family, and your guests will never forget. It’s a gathering that makes the consumption of food entertaining. Food piled high on the table’s center for everyone to pick and choose from while avoiding the fancy platters and stuffy dining protocol. Next time you host a dinner, consider this one-pot meal. It will surely come along with a full stomach and unforgettable laughs.