Way down yonder in New Orleans, the gumbo be good! I been making this gumbo for a long time and it good. So good in fact that it don’t take no hot sauce because it be plenty spicy.
There is a difference between Creole and Cajun cooking. The Creole is a combination of French, Spanish and American Indian cuisines and was developed in New Orleans. The Cajun style is from the bayous of Louisiana.
First off, for any good Creole or Cajun dish like this one has to make a good roux. The standard is one to one on the oil and the flour. I use everything from bacon grease, corn oil to butter and even use some of the fat from the roast in this one to give it an extra punch. To make the roux, I use a black cast iron skillet on medium to medium low heat. Heat the oil and for this one I used ¾ cup of oil to ¾ cup flour. The oil was a mix of bacon grease, beef fat and corn oil. Stir the mix frequently or use a whisk for about 30 minutes and don’t try to speed it up. It should be a medium to dark brown for that extra flavor.
While that is working, have the roast in 8 quarts of water to make the broth. For seasonings on the broth, I use a whole onion with skin still on cut into quarters, two carrots peeled and cut into large chunks, two red peppers, 6 to 7 beef bouillon cubes and a bit of cayenne for that extra punch. Bring to a boil and then simmer until the meat will pull apart, about an hour or so.
Now, this is the time to consider using a little wine in the broth and in the cook! I prefer a nice red wine and it don’t matter if it’s in a box or not.
You are going to have some time before the beef is cooked and I use this time, after the roux is done, to chop up my veggies. I have to have the Trinity! Two Cups of Onion, Two Cups of Celery, Two Cups of Green Bell Pepper. It’s mighty fine!
When the Roux is done, add the trinity to the roux and a little broth from the cooking beef to let it cook down for a bit. I add an extra step here and sweat the veggies in a separate skillet with butter and a pinch of salt.
Now, you are ready to add all this to the stock pot after taking the beef out to shred. While you are doing that, brown the sausage and I use two types of sausage here. Andouille and a sage sausage. 1 pound of each. The beef is between three and four pounds.
Add the beef and sausage into the stock pot, cover and let it simmer for about 2 hours. It needs the time to soak up that goodness and come together!
I like to use fresh herbs instead of dried so I get my fresh thyme, marjoram, a little of the lemon basil, fresh minced garlic ( I use one pod of garlic but use what you like to your taste) and put that in the pot. Some folks like adding tomatoes to their gumbo today but that is not the original way. I add on large can of stewed tomatoes to mine, especially for this gumbo. Put the cayenne pepper to it along with black pepper and let it simmer on the stove for about 2 hours. I also spice mine up with some added garlic and onion powder, couple of dried red peppers, paprika to taste and sometimes my fresh chili powder. Add a little sugar to make the spices work.
Gumbo takes a while. Be sure and keep an eye on it and stir it or it might stick!
The last ingredient in this Gumbo is fresh Okra or frozen. I cut mine up like I was going to bread and fry it and saute it in a little butter and vinegar before adding it to the pot. That goes in the last ten to fifteen minutes of the cooking and really watch that because the Okra is the thickener for the Gumbo!
Add some file’ gumbo to it but be careful as that sassafrass root can also make it stick! I always add some extra right when I serve it with the rice.
Cook you up some rice, lots of it and serve it with a salad, fresh oysters, bread, hot sauce, fresh jalapenos, or what suits your fancy!
Something for ya’ll to listen to while readin this recipe! Miss Doren and her kids from New Orleans!
Here’s the list of ingredients. HOWEVER, this is an art form and can vary from person to person!
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(R)), or to taste
1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning blend (such as Tony Chachere’s(R)), 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
2 tablespoons bacon drippings
2 (10 ounce) packages frozen cut okra, thawed
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons gumbo file powder
A great ending to this dish is my Peach Cobbler!