The Best Ever Shrimp And Crab Gumbo
- 2 to 2 ½ lbs. med. size shrimp shell on head off
- 1 ½ Tbsp. Old Bay crab boil or Seasoning
- 3 Tbs. bacon drippings
- 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- 2 Cups chopped fine (about ¼” cubes) sweet onion
- 1 cup finely chopped ham
- 1 to 2 lbs. okra depending on taste ( we like 1 lbs)
- 1 Large garlic clove garlic minced
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- ¼ tsp thyme
- ¼ tsp. oregano
- 2 Bay Leaves
1. Boil shrimp in the shell with crab boil for about 10 min. or until tender
2. Do not overcook, save liquid.
3. Peel shrimp cut in half if large, set aside to add later.
4. In an iron pot or heavy skillet make a roux with 3 Tbs. bacon drippings and flour. Add onion and sauté until transparent.*
5. Add ham and okra to the roux. Add enough of the reserved liquid to stir and cook, constantly stirring 10 min.
6. Add remaining ingredients, except Shrimp and Crab along with about an additional quart of the reserved liquid. You may want to add more liquid later to reach your desired consistency.
7. Add seasoning to taste and simmer for one hour.
8. Add shrimp and crab and simmer for an additional 20 minutes.
9. This would be a good time to cook rice if you plan to serve the gumbo with rice.
10. Serve over rice if you like, most folks like their gumbo over rice.
*To make a roux, you combine animal fat with flour, then whisk those ingredients until the combo takes on the particular color you are after, which can range from light blond to deep, dark chocolate. After that, you mix it in with soups, stews, and sauces to thicken them up. It’s easy enough to get right as long as you just keep whisking. Stop whisking, however, and your roux will be instantly at risk of burning. Once you see those little brown bits, the gig is up—you have to toss the whole thing out and start over. That’s a serious drag, so if your phone rings, ignore it. If the dog has to go out, make someone else take care of it. And if your kid wants to show you her A+ paper, tell her you’ll validate her once the roux is ready. Because unless it’s a matter of life and death, You. Must. Not. Stop. Whisking.
Here we walk you through the stages of creating the deep, dark roux that Chef David Kinch mixes into his recipe for cajun gumbo. If it’s a lighter version you’re after, you can just stop earlier in the process, of course, but stick to visual cues! Roux is way too hot for taste-testing. Which reminds us: always exercise caution when you’re combining hot-as-hell roux with other ingredients. They don’t call this stuff cajun napalm for nothing.
This the pot I use.