Cooking On A Budget: Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

Monday, April 9, 2012

Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

I made this dish way back in 2012 and have since then, but never thought to take another photograph until I cooked it this weekend. This is a solid recipe that I got from a cookbook I have by Emeril Lagasse and it's my go to gumbo recipe. I hope you all enjoy it.

The key to any gumbo is the roux. Definitely it's all about the roux. So, to make any kind of gumbo, you need to start out by making a Roux. A roux is equal parts flour and butter (or oil of some kind). There are 3 main stages of a roux - blond, peanut butter and dark. The longer you stir and cook the roux, the darker it becomes. Basically, the roux becomes the thickening agent and the beginning flavor of the gumbo. For this dish I used my dutch oven. The second key is that in any gumbo you must include "The Trinity". The trinity is equal parts onion, celery and green bell pepper. It is the sister to the French mirepoix which is celery, onions and carrots.
I used some chorizo in this gumbo that I got at Shop Rite for an unbelievable price! You can use kielbasa or linguica (a Portuguese sausage) in place of the chorizo (a Mexican sausage). I used the chorizo as that is what I had on hand. Or, use the traditional andouille - whatever you can get a hold of!

First thing is you want to do is make the CAJUN SPICE BLEND. Again this is Emeril's own blend.

The Cajun Spice Blend: Make and store for up to 3 months in an airtight container.
  • 2 tbsp. each: paprika, granulated garlic, onion powder, cayenne pepper, oregano and thyme.
  • 1 tbsp. each ground black pepper and kosher salt. (If you don't have kosher salt use 1 tsp. table salt.)

Now let's get down the actual dish and how to cook the Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo, starting off with the prep work needed, then the roux and finishing off the dish. This is the kind of recipe that you might want to make on the weekend as it takes time, but the results are worth it and this recipe feeds quite a few portions. It's hearty and warming and just southern comfort food for sure.
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup onion - small dice
  • 1 cup green bell pepper - small dice
  • 1 cup celery - small dice
  • 1 pkg. linguica, chorizo or kielbasa - sliced into bite size pieces
  • 1 1/2 lb. of shrimp (shells* removed and deveined)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups homemade shrimp stock (see recipe below)
  • Cajun spice (gets rubbed over the shrimp)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • Louisiana Hot Sauce - optional
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

 *Save the shells for shrimp stock

Prep Work:
  1. Make your spice rub (as above)
  2. In a glass bowl or other dish marinate the shelled shrimp with the Cajun Spice Rub and refrigerate.
  3. Slice the sausage and keep refrigerated.
  4. Dice the celery, pepper and onions and set aside.
  5. Make your shrimp stock (recipe below)

Shrimp Stock:
  1. Take your shrimp shells and put them in a sauce pot.
  2. Cover with 3 cups water. Add in 1 or 2 bay leaves and about 1 1/2 tsp. of whole black peppercorns and about 1/2 tsp. salt.
  3. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. At the end strain the stock. You can freeze what you don't use in this dish.
Now for the dish:
  1. Begin the dish by making the roux: heat your pan over medium heat and add in the oil and flour. Whisk this together and keep on whisking until the roux reaches a peanut butter stage or a deeper color if you choose.
  2. Once the roux has fully developed to the desired stage of roux, add in the celery, onions and bell peppers. Stir and cook for about 3 minutes.
  3. Next slowly add in the shrimp stock and keep stirring with a whisk until all ingredients are incorporated.  Add the water as well.
  4. Then add in the sausage, cover and simmer for at least one hour to develop the flavor.
  5. Remove lid after an hour or so, add in the shrimp, stir and cover.
  6. Cook for about 15 more minutes.
  7. Serve over rice.
This recipe serves about 8-10 portions.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours

Tips for you:
  1. The sausage was fatty so I used my fat separator to get rid of the fat that floated to the surface of the gumbo from the oil and sausage fat. I think next time I make this, I will render the sausage in another pan, drain off that fat so my gumbo isn't as oily.
  2. Secondly, watch the salt content. Taste your sausage otherwise you'll end up with a gumbo that is so salty! And for the record, adding potatoes in to absorb salt is a myth - it does not work I tried it. At best if it's salty, add some more water or the shrimp stock and then if you lost some of the heat, toss in a little cayenne pepper or hot sauce.

Also I did the costing and the total with rice (I used rice and water and not broth this time.) My total cost for this dinner (I got shrimp on sale and the sausage) was $24.45, feeding 10 portions for $2.45 or eight portions for $3.05 each.

If you would like to pin this recipe you can pin any of the photos or this one:

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