Prep 1 hr
Cook 2 hrs
This is an old family recipe that has served well for many years. It uses a traditional dark brown roux and Gumbo File to thicken and flavor. Its high quality depends on the freshest seafood ingredients, although much time can be saved with prepared seafood and fish stock.
- 1 cup cooking oil
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cloves garlic, diced
- 3 large white onions, chopped
- 5 stalks and heads celery, chopped
- 2 bell peppers, chopped
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarse grind
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon mixed Italian herbs
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
- 3 quarts fish stock (add more water or stock for a thinner batch to be served on rice)
- 5 lbs gumbo shrimp (mid 30ish range)
- 4 lbs lump crabmeat
- 2 pints fresh oysters or 6 lbs steamer clams
- 1⁄2 cup chopped parsley
- 1⁄2 cup chopped green onion
- 2 tablespoons gumbo file
- In a large cast iron skillet or heavy sauté pan, add the oil.
- A high flash point oil will reduce the time needed to make the roux.
- Heat the oil on high heat until the pan is smoking hot, carefully whisk in the flour and reduce the heat.
- Stir constantly to prevent scorching.
- Stir the mixture constantly for 30-45 minutes or until a dark brown color and nutty aroma develops.
- Remove from heat for a few minutes before adding the garlic to prevent burning.
- Fry garlic in this roux.
- Add onions and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add celery, bell pepper, black pepper, salt, Tabasco sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.
- Cook vegetables and then add three quarts of fish stock (recipe below).
- Allow the liquid to come to a boil and simmer while preparing the shrimp, crab and oysters/steamers.
- Using 2 cubes Knorr fish bouillon and 1 ½ tsp.
- Old Bay seasoning, precook the shrimp in a little boiling water.
- Drain, cool and peel the shrimp.
- Again, using the fish bouillon and Old Bay, bring the oysters to a boil in water until they just curl.
- Drain and cool.
- If using steamers (clams) instead of oysters, using the same procedure and seasonings, steam the clams, then shuck and clean before adding to the final boil.
- After cleaning the lump crab for any odd shell fragments, add crab the meat and cook for another ten minutes.
- Add parsley and chopped green onion and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Add the precooked shrimp, oysters/clams and cook for 5 minutes to heat through.
- At the very last add the file gumbo, blend well and remove from the heat and allow it to thicken.
- Allow the gumbo to set and when reheating, simmer gently and serve with cooked rice if desired.
- Fish Stock- Cooking down about 2 pounds of fish scraps or a mess of shellfish scraps can make the fish stock.
- In a small stockpot, add just enough water to cover.
- Add salt to taste and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
- Strain the stock before using.