This is the one dish I was always afraid to attempt. Why? Because it’s a staple in Louisiana and everyone who eats it will critique it. I took the recipe of Food Network‘s Alton Brown and rigged it.
This recipe is simple and produces a fantastic outcome. How do I know? Because the best cook that I know ate mine and said so…my maternal grandmother!
- 8 fluid ounces vegetable oil
- 8 ounces all-purpose flour (measure with a food scale)
- 4 to 6 pounds raw head-on medium-sized shrimp
- 4 quarts water
- 2 cups diced onion
- 3 cups diced celery
- 3 cups diced green peppers
- 4 tablespoons minced garlic
- 3 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped tomato
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 3 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 to 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (depending on your tolerance of heat)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 pound fresh crab fingers
- 2 to 3 pounds andouille sausage, cut into ¼-inch pieces and browned
- 2 tablespoons gumbo filé powder
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the vegetable oil and flour into a 5 to 6-quart cast iron pot (or a deep cast iron skillet) and whisk together to combine. Place on the middle shelf of the oven, uncovered, for 1½-2 hours, whisking every 30 minutes throughout the cooking process.
While the roux is in the oven, you can de-head, peel and de-vein the shrimp as well as make shrimp stock.
Tip: I chop my ingredients, de-head, peel and de-vein my shrimp, and make shrimp stock in advance (sometimes 1 day) to cut down on time.
Shrimp stock: Place the heads and shells in a pot along with the 6 quarts of water and a dash of salt, set over high heat and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour. Remove from the heat and strain the liquid into a container, discarding the solids. Set aside liquid for later.
Place the shrimp in a bowl and set in the refrigerator.
Brown the sausage and set aside.
Once the roux is done, carefully remove it from the oven and set over medium-high heat.
Gently add the onions, celery, green peppers, garlic and cook, moving constantly for 7 to 8 minutes or until the onions begin to turn translucent. Be careful not to let it stick. Add the tomatoes, salt, black pepper, thyme, cayenne pepper, and bay leaves and stir to combine. After a few minutes, gradually add the shrimp stock while stirring continually.
Carefully transfer contents of cast iron pot to a stainless steel or similar pot over medium-high heat. Be sure to scrape out all that goodness from the cast iron pot into the new pot. Continue to stir. May need to adjust the temperature. Be careful because it is easy to burn the roux at this point.
Cover and cook for 35 minutes. A rolling boil is good.
Add the shrimp, crab fingers, and sausage and stir to combine. Add the filé powder while stirring constantly. Cover and allow to sit for 10 minutes prior to serving.
Traditionally served over rice.
SN: I have always eaten gumbo without rice.
Have you ever made or eaten seafood gumbo?
Do you cook with a dutch oven or cast iron pot often? When done with your cast iron pot, do you salt it or wash it?
Which seafood items would you use? Same as I did? Something different or extra?
See ya later,