Gumbo, one of the most iconic dishes that defines cajun cooking. Originating in Louisiana from creole influence, over the centuries everyone has developed their own take on their style of cooking gumbo. With every gumbo having similarities and many of the same ingredients and spices, different variations and styles is what makes this dish so unique and special. No matter how it’s made, its unbelievably comforting and delicious. This gumbo recipe is one that my husband Logan has perfected over the years, combining the traditional andouille sausage with shrimp, a hybrid of chicken/sausage gumbo and seafood gumbo, we think it’s the best of both worlds.
A short history about Gumbo, is that the world itself derives from a West African word for okra, which is often included in the dish. I personally love adding okra but many people choose to omit. Roux, originating from French cuisine, is a simple flour and fat combination cooked over heat until desired level of color, a gumbo roux should always be dark in color. It always contains the Holy Trinity, which is bell pepper, yellow onion, and celery. Similar to the French mirepoix of carrot, onion, and celery, the Holy Trinity is the basis of all cajun cooking, included in dishes like jambalaya, étouffée, and red beans and rice. Gumbo is complex, yet simple. It requires patience to make and a whole lot of love. When the creoles in New Orleans made gumbo, it was a celebration of culture and family.
Now, the roots of Texas are rich and diverse in history, with many nations that led to the Republic of Texas and now, the U.S. State of Texas. Two of the six flags of Texas, are in fact, France and Spain. Creole people are early French or Spanish settlers of the U.S. Gulf states as well as person of mixed French or Spanish background. So, gumbo may have not originated in Texas, but Texans love this culture all the same and pay homage to those early creoles that help build Texas into what it is today.
We hope that you enjoy making this very special recipe, as we know that you won’t regret making it and eating it until your heart is content!
Laissez les bons temps rouler!
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1.5 # large gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 14 oz andouille sausage, sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, or equal parts thyme, oregano, & basil
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 bag of frozen okra, 14-16 oz, or to your liking
- 1 cup cooked long grain white rice
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large, thick-bottomed pot, such as a Dutch oven, on medium high heat, for a few minutes. Whisk in the flour and lower the heat to medium. Stir almost constantly, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan as you stir. This part is very important, it is a process that cannot be rushed. to achieve the dark color desired, it takes about 30 minutes of stirring.
- After the roux is to desired color, sauté the vegetables (bell pepper, onion, and celery), add the salt to this step to help sweat the vegetables. Stir until vegetables appear tender. Add garlic and continue to stir.
- Add the chicken stock, remaining seasonings, andouille, shrimp. Let simmer for 15 minutes.
- At this point, add the frozen okra and simmer for another 30. You can cook gumbo on a low simmer to develop flavor for as long as you choose, but at this point, everything is cooked.
- Serve atop cooked white rice or mixed with rice, if you please!