What’s not to love about the food and festivities this time of year? We wanted to share this great holiday recipe from our team to yours. We hope it helps bring your teams and families a little more joy and fuller stomachs this holiday season.
4 T. – Lard (not vegetable shortening)
1 lb. large fresh okra, washed, stemmed, and sliced tissue-thin
1-8 oz. can tomato sauce
3 T. Lard (not vegetable shortening)
5 T. All-Purpose Flour
2 medium-sized yellow onions peeled and chopped
1 large sweet green pepper, chopped fine
3 large celery stalks, finely diced
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
2 1/2 Quarts of cold water
2 t. salt (or more to taste)
1/2 t. cayenne pepper (or less)
Pinch of black pepper
1 1/2 lbs. medium-sized raw shrimp in shell
1-gallon boiling water w/ T. salt
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallion tops
3 T. minced parsley
Begin the okra thickening first; it must cook for several hours and be ready to add to the gumbo when the gumbo is ready for it (Don’t cook in an iron pot). Melt the lard over moderately high heat; add the okra and sauté for 10-12 minutes until golden not brown. Keep scraping sides. Lower heat and continue sautéing okra, uncovered. Very slowly for 1/2 hour.
- Add tomato sauce & cook uncovered for about 2 hours, stirring now and then until “it is very dry & just comes together in a ball.” Pour off any fat remaining.
- While okra cooks prepare roux: Melt lard in a very large heavy kettle over fairly high heat, blend in flour, reduce heat and keep stirring and working roux for half an hour. The roux should mellow and brown slowly, so raise & lower the heat as needed. It will first turn honey-colored, then butterscotch, and finally rich rust brown.
- Mix onions, green pepper, celery, and garlic into the roux. Turn the heat off and as soon as they stop sizzling close the lid on the kettle and leave it alone for 15 minutes.
- Blend 1 quart of the cold water in the roux, turn heat to moderate, and heat until thickened (3 minutes). Add the remains of the 1 1/2 quarts of water and boil gently, uncovered until reduced by one-half (30-40 min).
- Mix in the reserved okra thickening, salt, cayenne, and black pepper. Simmer uncovered over low heat for one hour stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, boil the shrimp for 1 minute exactly in boiling salted water. Drain and rinse under cold water then shell and devein.
- Add to the gumbo and cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Add scallion tops and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and simmer for 5-10 minutes longer. Taste the gumbo and add more salt if needed.
- To serve, spoon hot cooked rice into big soup bowls, then ladle the gumbo on top. Better if made, cool to room temperature then cover and refrigerate and rewarm the next day.