You don’t have to travel to Louisiana to have great gumbo. Chef Ron Iafrate of the aptly named Chef Ron’s Gumbo Shop shared an exclusive recipe for his award-winning gumbo with us, and we are still joyfully eating the leftovers. His rich, thick stew of shrimp stock, vegetables and spices is a hit with shrimp, crawfish, oysters, crab, sausage, and okra. All you need is a scoop of rice on top, and you’re set to feed a crowd.
The Cajun roux is essential for a good gumbo. For those of you who know your classic French roux, you can go all the way to dark brown. A Cajun roux takes it even further, getting as dark as possible before burning the flour. It takes a while to make, but the most important part is constantly whisking to prevent burning. Most gumbo experts would recommend cracking open a beer to pass the time. Bottoms up.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 10 cups shrimp stock
- One 14½-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 20 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 4 celery stalks, diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 medium bell peppers, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 pounds head-on medium shrimp
- 1 pound crawfish tails
- 8 ounces crab claw meat
- 8 ounces shucked oysters
- 8 ounces (3 links) smoked andouille sausage, sliced into ⅓-inch coins
- 8 ounces okra, sliced into 1-inch-thick pieces
- Steamed white rice, for serving
1. In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, whisk in the flour to form a roux. Cook the roux, stirring constantly, until almost black in color, 50 to 55 minutes.
2. Slowly pour in the shrimp stock while constantly stirring until the stock is fully incorporated into the roux. Add the tomatoes, Cajun seasoning, dried basil, onion powder, cayenne, garlic, celery, bay leaves, peppers and onion. Bring to a simmer, then cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 1 hour.
3. Add the remaining ingredients except for the rice, and simmer until the seafood is cooked and the okra is tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Ladle into bowls and serve with a scoop of rice on top.
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