Frogmore Stew is actually not a stew and it contains NO Frogs!
Frogmore Stew is considered a classic Low Country South Carolina dish. This dish is also know as Low-Country boil, Tidewater Boil, and Beaufort Boil. Frogmore Stew gets it’s name from a place that has only a post office on one side of the road and a two-story white country store on the other. Frogmore is the mailing address for the residents of St. Helena Island just off the South Carolina coast. The town was named by John Grayson, and early owner, named after his ancestral English country estate in England.
Every coastal town seems to have their own version of this seafood boil. Frogmore Stew features two main ingredients, fresh shrimp and freshly-shucked yellow corm, but most anything that is good boiled (such as crabs, redskin potatoes, and even crawfish) can be added. Frogmore Stew actually reminds me of a Louisiana Crawfish Boil. One thing I do know for sure is the fact that it is good!
Frogmore Stew has become a current favorite at some fancy restaurants in Charleston and some of the resorts along the Carolina coast. This seafood boil is usually served on paper plates around newspaper-covered picnic tables outdoors, with plenty of ice-cold beer.
Photo courtesy of Piggly Wiggly Carolina, Inc.
History of Frogmore Stew:
Beaufort historian, Gerhard Spieler believes that the recipe was the invention of local shrimpers who used whatever food items they had on hand to make a stew.
Richard Gay of Gay Seafood Company also claimed to have invented Frogmore Stew. On National Guard duty in Beaufort in the 1960s, he was preparing a cookout of leftovers for his fellow guardsmen and he brought the recipe home to the community of Frogmore with him, putting out copies of the recipe at his seafood market and selling all the necessary ingredients.
- 1 1/2 gallons water
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt to taste
- 3 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning*
- Redskin new potatoes (depending on size, 3 or more per person)
- 2 pounds spicy sausage (like andouille or kielbasa, etc.), cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 10 to 12 ears of shucked corn on the cob, broken into 3-inch pieces
- 4 pounds jumbo shrimp, uncooked, in shell
In a very large stock pot over medium-high heat, add the water, lemon, salt, and Old Bay Seasoning; bring to a boil.
When the seasoned water comes to a boil, add redskin potatoes and boil for 20 minutes. When done, the potatoes should be easily pierced with a knife but not mushy.
Add sausage and gently boil, uncovered, 5 minutes.
Add corn and cook and continue cooking an additional 5 minutes (begin timing immediately, do not wait until water is boiling).
Add shrimp and cook and additional 3 to 5 minutes longer. Do not overcook the shrimp. Remove from heat and drain immediately.
Serve with lots of paper towels or napkins and ice-cold beverages, plus melted butter for the corn, cocktail sauce for the shrimp, and sour cream or ketchup for the potatoes. This is a messy dish; you’ll need a whole handful of napkins or paper towels.
Yields 8 servings.
* The general rule is 2 tablespoons crab boil seasoning per gallon water (or more to taste)
** Some people like to substitute fresh crab for the shrimp.
Categories:Corn Pork Stew and Soups Potatoes Seafood, Soups and Chowders Soups and Stews HIstory Southeast