What You Will Need:
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 24 ounces Andouille sausage, cut into 1/2″ sliced half moons
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 large yellow onion, diced finely
- 2 green bell peppers, diced finely
- 3 ribs celery, diced finely
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons cajun seasoning
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 1 pound okra, sliced into 1/2″ pieces
- 1 pound small shrimp
- 1 tablespoon filé powder
For Cajun Seasoning:
- 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
How To Prepare:
Mix all ingredients for the cajun seasoning and set aside.
In a large dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add the andouille sausage and brown for 6 minutes. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel and set aside.
Make the roux: add the remaining 1/3 cup vegetable oil to the dutch oven and reduce the heat to medium-low. Sprinkle in the flour, whisking constantly. Allow the flour and oil mixture to cook gently for 30 minutes, stirring every few minutes to make sure the flour doesn’t burn. You want the roux to become a very dark caramel color.
In a separate pan, heat the chicken broth until just simmering.
Increase the heat of the dutch oven to medium-high and add the onion, green bell pepper, and celery. Sauté, stirring frequently, for 8-10 minutes until the vegetables have softened. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and all of the cajun seasoning then mix thoroughly and cook for another 5 minutes.
Add the diced tomatoes, fresh thyme, and bay leaves. Add the chicken broth, one ladle at a time to start, mixing as you add, then pour in all of the broth. Add the reserved andouille sausage.
Bring to a boil then reduce to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour, uncovered. If you see oil coming to the surface of the gumbo, skim it off.
After 1 hour, the gumbo will have reduced and thickened some. Add the okra and cook for another 30-40 minutes until the okra has softened but still has texture.
Add the shrimp and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the shrimp turn opaque. Remove from the heat, stir in the filé powder, then serve with white rice, chopped parsley, scallions, hot sauce, and more filé powder if desired.
Note: Yes this dish is time consuming to make. So grab a bottle of wine and use this time to yourself as a meditative experience. Personally, it’s rewarding to spend time in the kitchen making a masterpiece. Or grab a girlfriend of yours and recruit some assistance. Hanging out in the kitchen making this dish together will truly be a memorable experience.