Just What is Frogmore Stew?

By:Gwen Fowler


Frogmore Stew
Frogmore Stew is a delicious, traditional way to cook seafood that is named after a Lowcountry community on St. Helena Island. The “stew” is really a combination of shrimp, corn, potatoes and sausage, and sometimes crabs and other tasty additions. It’s most often eaten outside, where you can be as messy as you want.

Nothing is more perfect for a Lowcountry meal than Frogmore stew, a mouth-watering, one-pot meal of shrimp, corn on the cob, new potatoes and smoked sausage.

Those four ingredients are the basics, but sometimes live blue crabs or stone crabs claws are added, as well as onion. Seasonings usually are Old Bay seasoning, beer and hot sauce.

Don’t worry about failure. You just want to take care not to cook the ingredients to a mush, which is why the potatoes, corn and sausage go in the pot before the shrimp. As with all dishes, the freshest ingredients will result in the best dinner.

It’s especially delicious served outdoors, making it the perfect dish for a casual get-together. Since it’s a bit messy, lots of folks like to spread newspapers on a table outside so there’s no worry about what hits the floor, making clean-up quick and simple.

So where did the funny name come from? (No, no frogs are in the stew.) The dish originated in a small Lowcountry fishing community on St. Helena Island named Frogmore, near Beaufort and Hilton Head. It’s also sometimes called Lowcountry boil or Beaufort stew.

Frogmore stew is a perfect choice for a relaxed meal for a large crowd. The recipe below serves about six, but it’s easy to adjust. Just allow about 1/2 pound of shrimp and about 1/4 pound of sausage per person, and several potatoes and pieces of corn.

Frogmore Stew

Several bottles of beer and some water

1/2 cup Old Bay seasoning

Tabasco sauce to taste

15 new potatoes, unpeeled

4 ears of fresh corn, shucked, silked, and broken into 2- or 3-inch pieces

1 (16-ounce) package smoked or Kielbasa sausage, cut into one-inch pieces, browned and then drained on paper towels

3 pounds of large fresh shrimp, in shells

In a big pot, mix beer and water and season with Old Bay and Tabasco. Bring to a boil and add the potatoes. Cook for about 15 minutes. Add the corn and sausage. Cook for about 5 more minutes. Add the shrimp and cook just until they are pink, probably less than 5 minutes. Drain. Serve with lemon slices and cocktail sauce.

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