Being the proud Norfolk, Virginia native I am, I was lucky enough to have access to plenty of fresh seafood growing up. Fish, mussels, clams – you name it. We ate seafood multiple times a week, year round. But my favorite time of year for seafood has always been the summer. There is something special about sitting down at the table, getting your hands dirty and digging into a low country boil. Eating off a newspaper-lined table, sipping a light beer in the sun, and talking over Old Bay-seasoned seafood is a summer tradition that’s pretty hard to beat.
While a low country boil (also referred to as Frogmore Stew, Beaufort Stew, Beaufort Boil, or Tidewater Boil depending on where you live and who you ask) isn’t traditionally made in the slow cooker, the Test Kitchen figured you might want to ease the summer heat, and let the slow cooker do the work for you.
We combined smoked sausage, red potatoes, corn on the cob, onion, lemon juice, seafood seasoning, black pepper and beer in the slow cooker crock. Cook on HIGH for 2 to 2 ½ or LOW for 4 ½ to 5 hours. Make sure the potatoes and tender and then add your shrimp (tails on, of course). Add a little extra seasoning and lemon juice and cook for 20-30 minutes until the shrimp are cooked.
Baguettes, cocktail sauce, summer beers, and warm breezes pair best with this summer slow cooker meal. Pour your low country boil onto parchment paper, newspaper or the nearest picnic table, grab an extra roll of paper towels, and dig in.
- 1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 8 small red potatoes, quartered
- 4 ears corn-on-the-cob, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, cut into wedges
- 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon seafood seasoning, divided
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Juice from 1 medium lemon
- 12 ounces beer
- 1 pound medium (16-20 count) shrimp with shells
- In a slow cooker crock, combine sausage, potatoes, corn, onion, 1/4 cup seafood seasoning, black pepper and lemon juice. Pour in beer.
- Cover slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or LOW for 4 1/2 to 5 hours.
- In a small bowl, toss shrimp with remaining 1 teaspoon seafood seasoning. Add shrimp to crock and cook for 20 to 30 minutes until shrimp are pink and no longer translucent.
- Test Kitchen Tip: To prevent shrimp from overcooking, check potatoes to ensure they are fork tender before adding shrimp.