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This is the preferred stew of the American South!

The seafood in this stew usually varies with the availability of sseafood at the monent. Crawdads, mudbugs or crayfish are a common ingredient as well as shrimp, oysters, whitefish, crab and clams. Andouille or Cajun sausage is often used as well.


●  2 quarts beef stock or canned beef broth
●  1 cup smoked ham, chopped
●  2 bay leaves
●  2 tablespoons crushed red pepper, flaked
●  1 tablespoon salt
●  3 tablespoons vegetable oil
●  3 cups okra, frozen or fresh cut in ½ inch pieces
●  2 large onion, chopped
●  1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded,and minced
●  2 stalks celery, chopped
●  2 cloves garlic,  minced
●  1  16 oz can whole tomatoes, crushed
●  ¼  cup catsup
●  1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
●  1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
●  ½ teaspoon dried thyme
●  1 pound shrimp
●  1 pound crab meat or 6 hard-shell crabs cooked and cleaned
●  1 bunch scallions,  chopped
●  12  oysters, shucked with liquid
●  1 cup cooked rice,  plus more for serving
●  OPTIONAL: 1 tablespoon gumbo filè powder,  or serve on the side.  **SEE COOK'S NOTE**


1. Combine the stock, ham, bay leaves, red pepper, and 2 teaspoons of the  salt in a large kettle.
   Heat to rolling boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook 1 hour.

2. Meanwhile, make the roux: Heat the bacon drippings in a skillet over a  medium heat.  Stir in
   the flour until absorbed.Cook over very low heat,  stirring constantly, until flour is dark
   mahogany brown and the roux smells nutty,  about 25 minutes.  Be careful not to burn the flour
   or the roux is ruined.

3. In a separate large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the okra, onions, green peppers,
   celery, and garlic. Sautè until almost  tender, about 10 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and cook 5
   minutes longer.

4. Add the sautèed vegetables and the roux to the hot beef stock along  with remaining 1 teaspoon
   of salt, the catsup, hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and thyme. Reduce the heat to very
   low and simmer, covered, 1 hour.

 5.Stir in shrimp, crabmeat, and scallions into the gumbo. Cook 10 minutes.  Add the oysters, rice,
   gumbo filè powder and cook 10 minutes.  Check the seasoning and serve over rice.

1.  Filè powder is used to thicken the gumbo,  but the okra serves the same purpose.  You can serve the
     powdered Filè on the side and let the guest add it if they wish.

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