Everyday Gumbo

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  • 1 1/2 cups crab meat
  • 2 pounds shrimp, in shells
  • 3 quarts water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 slices lemon
  • 2 slices onion
  • Salt
  • Red and black pepper
  • Parsley
  • 2 pounds okra, sliced
  • 6 tablespoons bacon grease, divided
  • 4 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 2 red pepper pods, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons brown roux
  • Reserved shrimp stock
  • Salt, pepper, thyme, parsley, to taste
  • Hot boiled rice


Step 1

In a large Dutch oven boil the water with bay leaves, lemon, the 2 slices of onion, and judicious amounts of salt, pepper, cayenne and parsley.

Step 2

Wash shrimp and add to pot; boil for 2 minutes.

Step 3

Peel shrimp and return shells to the stock for later use. Set shrimp and crab meat aside.

Step 4

Saute okra slices in 3 tablespoons bacon grease in large cast iron skillet.

Step 5

The okra will turn darker and lose some of its stickiness as it cooks. When soft, transfer to a stew pot and add tomatoes. Stir and mix together well.

Step 6

Clean skillet and heat 3 tablespoons bacon grease in it.

Step 7

Saute the finely chopped onion, green pepper, and red pepper pods. When soft, add these ingredients to the stew pot.

Step 8

In a saucepan, warm the roux; strain and stir in 2 cups of the shrimp stock. When well-blended, add to the large stew pot with the other ingredients.

Step 9

Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 hours, adding more strained stock if needed for consistency.

Step 10

Adjust seasonings with the salt, pepper, thyme, and parsley. When it has simmered for at least 3 to 4 hours and the flavors have begun to blend, add the shrimp and crab meat and cook for 15 more minutes.

Step 11

Serve with fresh boiled rice in soup bowls.

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