Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My favorite gumbo recipe

Hi!  Winnie Griggs here.  Monday was an important day for my home state of Louisiana - it marked the 200th anniversary of its statehood.  In honor of that auspicious occasion, I thought I’d post one of my favorite regional recipes - gumbo.  Every cook in Louisiana has her own version of this versatile dish.  This is mine - a recipe I’ve adapted over the years through tweaking one passed down from my grandmother.    

  • 1/4 cup butter or vegetable oil
  • 2 tblsp flour
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 can (14-15 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 lb sliced okra (sautéed with ½ teaspoon vinegar until ‘slime’ is gone)
  • 4 lbs meat - any one type or a combination of your favorites.  Meats that work well in a gumbo are sausage (cut into ½ inch slices), deboned chicken or other fowl, pork, shrimp, crawfish, crab or game meats
  • Tabasco sauce or liquid crab boil to taste (optional)

  • Use flour and oil or butter to make a roux.
    Do this by combining ingredients in a heavy saucepan and cooking over a low heat,  stirring constantly until the mixtures is a medium brown color (about 10-15 minutes).
  • Add garlic, onions, green onions, celery and bell peppers.  Cook until tender
  • Add remaining ingredients except okra (and shellfish if applicable) and bring to a boil. 
  • Reduce heat, cover and cook for 30 minutes, adding additional water if needed
  • Add okra (and shellfish if applicable).  Return to a boil. 
  • Reduce heat and simmer for another 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove bay leaves, skim excess oil, and serve over rice.
This makes a very large batch.  Leftovers can be frozen for later consumption.

So, do you have any favorite recipes that reflect your home region?  Care to share?


  1. what exactly is orka. Whats it like (spoken by a vegetable hater)

    Here I am not sure we really have specialties of regions but I know Roast Lamb is almost a national dish.

  2. Mmm, loooove roast lamb and mint jelly :)

  3. Hi Winnie good to see ya here, my mother in law(deceased now) always cooked like this , she was old southern cook and a good one, I learned many dishes from her.
    I never have like Okra, too slimy but I had to cook it when I married a southern guy.
    She put okra and tomatoes together with seasonings and bacon too.
    Paula O

  4. AusJenny, okra is a vegetable we use here in Louisiana quite a bit. You can learn a little something about it at this link

  5. I've never had roast lamb and mint jelly - in fact I've never had lamb in any form. But you two make it sound yummy - I may have to give it a try

  6. POL - lots of folks around here eat okra and tomatos but I'm not very fond of it personally. Outside of a gumbo, the other way I like it cooked is fried with a bit of cornmeal

  7. Sandra and Winnie, I dont have the mint jelly on it. Most will have a gravy on it (I prefer it without.)
    I think its cooked the same as roast beef.
    We roast the leg. Aussies probably eat more lamb than beef. I just love the taste of it and we roast the potatoes also with it.