I feel like I make gumbo every time I need to get rid of some odds and ends in my refrigerator/freezer. It’s great for leftover shrimp and chicken. Contrary to what some people believe, I do not think that Gumbo has to take all day to be delicious. Just a few tips and tricks to rev up the flavor, and mimic that “all day cook” taste.
The secret to any great gumbo is the roux. What makes the roux so great? The browning process used for the flour. This contributes a very nice caramel flavor to the gumbo. There are several ways you can achieve this. You can mix the oil and flour (usually about equal parts, I tend to use slightly less oil) and cook over medium heat on the stove stirring constantly.
Or you can bake the flour in the oven which does take a bit longer but has far less babysitting. This time that is the option I chose. Cook 1 cup of flour (any type) at 400 degrees for an hour to an hour and a half, stirring about every 15 minutes (less time earlier in the process, then when you approach the end point a bit more frequently). It should have a nice nutty aroma, without an acrid smell. It should be about the color of peanut butter (it will darken when you add the oil).
The next critical element is the “Holy Trinity”. In Cajun cooking, that is onions, bell peppers, and celery.
And of course spices. I used onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, white pepper and cayenne pepper. Stock cubes are going to help you give it a “long-cooked flavor”, along with using beer as the liquid.
Your meats. I had leftover shrimp (cooked) from a party, leftover crawfish tail meat (from something I can’t remember) and leftover chicken, as well as some Andouille sausage that was on sale.
After your flour is browned, add your fats. I used a blend of olive oil and browned butter ghee. I know some people use the brown butter ghee for health reasons (it’s like paleo or something?) but I love the flavor. It just amps up the caramel flavor of the browned flour to an extra level. I love that it’s shelf-stable too, always have some around.
Cook for just a minute. The hard work is already done for you!
Add your spices and crushed garlic cloves.
Add onions and saute for a minute.
Add Andouille sausage and cook for a minute.
Add green peppers and cook for a minute.
It’s coming together…
Add your liquid. In this case I used 2 cups of High Life, and four chicken bone broth stock cubes to start with. I also added about 2 tablespoons of Better Than Bullion Lobster Base because I wanted a really nice seafood flavor. You could go with chicken base or fish base or even ham base I would imagine, I just LOVE how the Lobster base tastes. Cook until thickened. If the base is too thick, add more water or beer.
A can of petite diced tomatoes.
Half a bag of frozen okra. This is optional (I know some people hate it lol)
And the shrimp and crawdad tails.
Heat until heated through and serve with good bread!
Sausage, chicken and shrimp beer gumbo
- 1 cup flour
- ¾ cups oil I used browned butter ghee and olive oil
- 2 cups of beer I used Miller High Life
- 1 14 oz can petite diced tomatoes
- 4 stock cubes or about ¾ cup of low-sodium chicken broth
- 4 cloves crushed garlic
- 2 Tablespoons Better Than Bullion Lobster Base
- 1 ½ cups frozen or fresh okra
- Meat: I used leftover chicken shrimp and crawfish along with Andouille sausage. It works with almost anything!
- 1 Tablespoon onion powder
- 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper to taste
- ½ teaspoon white pepper or black if that’s what you have!
Cook your roux until peanut butter or copper colored. Add
oil and onion and cook for a minute. Add Andouille and cook for a minute, add
green pepper and cook for a minute. Add the beer and stock cubes and cook until
thickened. Add can of tomatoes, frozen okra and celery and cook for a minute.
Add the remainder of the meats and cook until all is heated through.