Since graduating from college in ... well, never mind ... I have spent most of my life in the South. My Southern culinary credentials are approaching legit. I can make cornbread, collards, deviled eggs — and now the low country boil.
I've seen my mother-in-law make this a few times and I have to say I prefer hers, because her shrimp always came straight from the ocean (she recently moved back to Kansas after about two decades in Kure Beach, NC) and she cooked the shrimp in shell, head on. Tasty.
Still, this slow cooker version was really great and way easy. America's Test Kitchen is wrong, however, in saying the shrimp need to cook for 20 minutes. And I never say ATK is wrong. I thought the shrimp were approaching overdone at 5 minutes.
Slow Cooker Low Country Boil
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen Healthy Slow Cooker Revolution
8 ounces andouille sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 ribs celery, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes, cut in half
1 (8-ounce) bottle clam juice
3 ears corn, husks and silk removed and cut in half
3 bay leaves
1 1/2 pounds, extra large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound), peeled, deveined and tails removed
Microwave sausage, celery, tomato paste, Old Bay and pepper flakes in bowl, stirring occasionally, until celery is softened -- about 5 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker and stir in 4 cups water, potatoes, clam juice, corn and bay leaves. Cover and cook until potatoes are tender -- about 6 to 7 hours on low or 4 to 5 hours on high.
Stir shrimp into slow cooker, cover and cook on high until opaque throughout -- about 5 minutes. Strain shrimp boil, discard bay leaves and serve.