Yield – about 3 Gallons (50 Dinner Servings)
2 -1/2 CUPS MEDIUM DARK ROUX (See basic roux recipe)
3 CUPS ONIONS (Diced 1/4″ pieces)
3 CUPS CELERY (Chopped)
3 CUPS BELL PEPPERS (Diced 1/4″ pieces)
1/2 CUP TOMATO PASTE
1/2 CUP FRESH MINCED GARLIC
5 LBS FRESH PORK SAUSAGE BREAKFAST LINKS (Cut each link into 3 pieces)
1 TSP WHOLE THYME LEAVES
1 TBSP SWEET BASIL
1 TBSP BLACK PEPPER
4 WHOLE BAY LEAVES
1 TSP GROUND CAYENNE PEPPER
1 TBSP KITCHEN BOUQUET
2 CUPS CRUSHED TOMATO FILLETS
1-1/4 GALLON SEAFOOD STOCK (See recipe)
1-1/2 LBS CATFISH FILLETS (Shanks no bellies or bones)
6 MEDIUM GUMBO CRABS (Cleaned and split in half)
1 TBSP GUMBO FILE’
1 QUART OYSTERS
3 LBS FRESH SHRIMP (Peeled and deveined 31 – 35 count)
Use a braiser or 20 quart stock pot and over high heat, whisk the roux 3 – 5 minutes. Add the onions, celery, bell pepper, tomato paste and garlic to the roux and simmer over medium low heat until all vegetables are very limp. About 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, bake sausage (uncovered) in a 350F oven for 30 minutes. Discard grease, then add sausage and any graton to the gumbo.
Add remaining ingredients (except gumbo fil?, oysters and shrimp) to the gumbo; simmer over low heat for 45 minutes. Break up pieces of catfish (in the gumbo) with a chef’s spoon. Allow gumbo to cool for 30 minutes, cover and place overnight in the refrigerator.
The gumbo can be cooked and served in the same day. If this is done, then allow an additional 20 to 30 minutes of covered simmering time to marry the flavors.
When ready to serve, bring gumbo to low boil; remove 2 chef spoons of stock and mix with the fil? gumbo. Make a paste and add to the gumbo, whisk in completely. Add oysters and shrimp, curl the oysters and turn shrimp pink (3 – 5 minutes) and serve over chicken stock rice.
Serve with additional gumbo fil? and hot sauce on the table.
This is an all purpose catering seafood gumbo, it is not as thick as a Cajun gumbo would be; nor is it as thin as a Creole seafood gumbo would be.
If frozen shrimp are used then it is suggested that 70 – 90 count shrimp be used. (This will help disguise the frozen product taste.)
Please note that there is no salt in the recipe. Oysters can be very salty, therefore it is recommended to adjust for seasonings just prior to serving.
This recipe won several times at the Lafite Seafood Festival Gumbo cooking contest.