Lowcountry Boil has long been a tradition in the southern United States and is much akin to the lobster bakes and clam boils of the North East and Crawfish boils of Louisiana. This seafood dish is most often a combination of fresh local shrimp, spicy andouille sausage, fresh shucked sweet corn, and red-skinned potatoes. It is very easy to prepare for a crowd and can be served on newspaper for easy cleanup. Crawfish, crab, onion, and lemon are frequent additions to the pot – though not as traditional. The rule of thumb here is the bigger the crowd, the bigger the pot – so with the unofficial start of summer coming this weekend on Memorial day (US holiday), I wanted to share with you how we kick off the summer here in the Lowcountry.
If you come to Charleston and you might also see this dish called Frogmore Stew, this name is a misnomer as there are no frogs contained in this simple summer dish; nor is it a stew. It’s sometimes also called Beaufort Stew or Beaufort Boil just to keep visitors guessing. The history behind the alternate names for Lowcountry Boil is disputed and debated amongst the locals. While they discuss- allow me to help myself to a heaping plate. Yum!
Lowcountry Boil can be also made with the addition of beer in the broth – everyone seems to have their own special spin on this classic Lowcountry meal.
One thing for certain though – no matter how you cook it, with or without beer, with or without crab and crawfish – there won’t be any left! It’s the perfect summer feast that all your guests will enjoy.
One thing is for certain though – no matter how you cook your Lowcountry Boil, with or without beer, with or without crab and crawfish - there won't be any left! It's the perfect summer feast that all your guests will enjoy.
- 1-gallon water
- ½ cup Old Bay seasoning, plus additional for serving [See Note 1]
- ½ tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped [See Note 2]
- 1 (12-ounce) bottle pale ale beer
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- 3 pounds baby red potatoes
- 2 pounds mild or hot smoked sausage, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 6 ears fresh corn, cut in half
- 2 pounds unpeeled, medium-size raw shrimp
- 2 pounds fresh crawfish [See Note3]
- Cocktail sauce
- tartar sauce
- hot sauce
- extra lemon wedges
Bring water, beer, Old Bay, garlic, lemons, bay leaves, ½ tablespoon kosher salt, and garlic to a boil in large stockpot over high heat.
If necessary, skim foam from top and then add potatoes, cover and cook 10 minutes.
Add smoked sausage and continue to boil for another 4 minutes.
Add the shucked corn pieces and boil for 7 more minutes, before adding the shrimp and crawfish.
Cook until shrimp until they just turn pink and begin to curl, about 2-3 minutes.
Immediately drain cooking liquid and discard lemons and bay leaves. Pour contents of pot into large serving bowl, platter, or on top of a paper-covered table. [See Note 4]
Sprinkle with additional Old Bay, if desired, and serve with prepared cocktail sauce, Tabasco and plenty of napkins.
- You can dump everything on newspaper on a table or serve it out of the ice chest. Food stays hot in the chest… your choice.Old bay may be substituted with 1/3 cup (4oz) shrimp and crab boil seasoning.
- Whole garlic may be substituted with 2 tsp minced garlic.
- You can dump everything on newspaper on a table or serve it out of an ice chest. Food stays hot in the ice chest for longer serving times.