Low Country Boil
The Low Country Boil is a food tradition started in the southeastern United States that brings groups of people together for a good time, much like a New England clambake. Specifically, it is believed that the first low country boil happened in South Carolina, but the origins aren’t one hundred percent certain. You might hear it called a Frogmore stew, a Beaufort Boil, or even a Tidewater Boil, depending on where in the US you are.
Make this in the biggest pot you have. A 44-quart pot is traditional for these boils, as usually a group of 10-15 people is expected. There are a few ingredients in a low country boil that are considered absolutely necessary, like the shrimp and sausage. The crawfish called for in typical low country boils can be replaced with crabs, or with double the amount of shrimp, if you aren’t especially fond of crawfish. Vidalia onions should be used because they have a sweetness to them that really adds to the overall flavor of the boil. Avoid using other types of onions. As for the beer, be sure that it is a domestic beer that isn’t necessarily one you would be bummed about not drinking. Jeff calls these “cooking beers” because they are the mid-priced beers marketed at college students, not those fancy, expensive IPAs. Plus, the powerful flavors in many IPAs might overwhelm the boil, so stick to something less flavorful and cheaper. Potatoes of any kind really work for this, but the tri-colored potatoes that Jeff used were beautiful aesthetically.To make sure the spices were just right, Jeff took some time and created a new blend full specifically for this recipe. It brings the southern comfort right to your table, alcohol pun not intended despite the previous conversation about beer.
Cook ingredients in order from what needs to cook the longest to what needs to cook for the least amount of time but serve all at once! This means the potatoes should go in first so they get enough time in the water to soften up, but the shrimp can be added last because they only need a few minutes to be done properly. As you cook this more frequently, you will become a master at timing when each ingredient should enter the pot. Pair this with a basket full of bread and a side of butter to keep it traditional. Bowls of cocktail sauce are good to scatter around the table. Some people like vinegar for their seafood as well. Our taste testers enjoyed the deep flavors of this meal, and also the comradery of hanging out around the table which had been topped with freshly cooked seafood and vegetables.
- 3 Lbs. new potatoes
- 2 Vidalia onions
- 3 lemons, quartered
- 6 Ears of sweet corn, cut into thirds
- 2 Lbs. smoked sausage, cut into 3 inch links
- 2 Lbs. shrimp, with shells on
- 2 Lbs. blue crab or crawfish
- 24 oz. beer
- 1 Cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. hot sauce, such as Red Hot or Texas Pete’s
- ¾ Cup Low Country Boil Seasoning
- 1 Gallon water
- Place the potatoes, onions, water, hot sauce, beer, vinegar, lemons, and Low Country Boil Seasoning in the cooker. Light burner and bring to a full boil. Boil for 10 minutes.
- Add corn and sausage and boil for 15 minutes.
- Add shrimp and Crabs/Crawfish and boil for 5 minutes.
- Drain and serve with Cocktail sauce, lemons, hot sauce, and crackers.