I was recently told by my acupuncturist that I needed to add more okra in my diet. Aside from having it with pasta, I was inspired to try to make my very first gumbo! It just so happens that it’s just in time for Fat Tuesday as well. I grew up on my mom’s jambalaya, but have never made gumbo. I never knew the difference before either, but I’m guessing it has a lot to do with the roux. According to www.chowhound.com, jambalaya is more of a rice based dish, while gumbo is more often referred to as a soup or stew with okra. Apparently, jambalaya is the African word for ham with rice and gumbo is the word for okra. Here is the recipe I found on www.allrecipes.com from user: dailyrecipedoctor.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup bacon drippings
- 1 cup coarsely chopped celery
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 large green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
- 3 quarts water
- 6 cubes beef bouillon
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco®), or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning blend (such as Tony Chachere’s®), or to taste
- 4 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 2 teaspoons gumbo file powder (Sassafras powder) I didn’t have this on hand 🙁
- 2 tablespoons bacon drippings
- 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen cut okra, thawed
- 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 1 pound lump crab meat
- 3 pounds uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons gumbo file powder
- Make a roux by whisking the flour and 3/4 cup bacon drippings together in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-low heat to form a smooth mixture. Cook the roux, whisking constantly, until it turns a rich mahogany brown color. This can take 20 to 30 minutes; watch heat carefully and whisk constantly or roux will burn. Remove from heat; continue whisking until mixture stops cooking.
2. Place the celery, onion, green bell pepper, and garlic into the work bowl of a food processor, and pulse until the vegetables are very finely chopped. Stir the vegetables into the roux, and mix in the sausage. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat, and cook until vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside.
3. Bring the water and beef bouillon cubes to a boil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot. Stir until the bouillon cubes dissolve, and whisk the roux mixture into the boiling water. Reduce heat to a simmer, and mix in the sugar, salt, hot pepper sauce, Cajun seasoning, bay leaves, thyme, stewed tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Simmer the soup over low heat for 1 hour; mix in 2 teaspoons of file gumbo powder at the 45-minute mark.
4. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings in a skillet, and cook the okra with vinegar over medium heat for 15 minutes; remove okra with slotted spoon, and stir into the simmering gumbo. Mix in crab meat, shrimp, and Worcestershire sauce, and simmer until flavors have blended, 45 more minutes. Just before serving, stir in 2 more teaspoons of file gumbo powder.
I must say that this recipe was quite amazing; I am a fan 🙂 . I’m sure that it’s blasphemous to not have the gumbo file powder, but I think it worked pretty well without it this time.