Seafood Gumbo, with shrimp, crab, chicken Andouille sausage, and okra is a spicy CCajun-inspiredmeal served over rice or grits. This recipe is not super easy as it takes time to cook to properly develop all of the flavors. This recipe all starts with a dark and rich roux made from bacon drippings.
Make the roux: Whisk together flour and bacon drippings in a Dutch oven and cook in 300°F oven for 90 minutes, whisking every 15 minutes or so. This temperature should be hot enough to develop a rich dark roux without burning it, but if it smells like it's burning, reduce the temperature. Alternatively, if after one hour the roux has not darkened, increase the temperature to 325°F.
Chop vegetables: While roux is cooking, pulse onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic in a food processor. You want the cut pieces to be small as if you were dicing them with a knife. Alternatively, you may dice with a knife and cutting board.
Cook sausage and veggies: Once roux is done, place the Dutch oven on the stove. Add onion mixture along with the sausage. Cook over medium-low heat. You want to cook the vegetables and sausage while not burning the roux. Stir occasionally. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
Simmer: Slowly add beef broth to the mixture in the Dutch oven. Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen anything that may have stuck during the cooking process. Stir well to combine ingredients and bring to a simmer. Add sugar, hot pepper sauce, Cajun seasoning, bay leaves, thyme, tomatoes, tomato paste, and okra. Reduce heat to the lowest setting to maintain a simmer and cook for one hour.
Add seafood and seasonings: Add shrimp, crab meat, gumbo file powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook over extremely low heat until seafood is cooked through.
Add salt to taste. I never specify the amount because I feel it's based on personal preference, but start out with a small amount, taste, and continue adding until the flavor is right. Serve gumbo over a medium or long grain rice or grits.
Makes 3 quarts. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 5 days or freeze in airtight container.