One of the best things about gumbo is that it’s a truly imaginative dish—one that can be made with whatever happens to be in your kitchen at any given time. This recipe—based on a hand-written version given to us by Barbara Sias, a cook at the Rice Palace restaurant, in Crowley, Louisiana—combines inexpensive cuts of meat, including oxtail, ground sausage, and turkey necks, yielding a rich, hearty gumbo that, despite its humble ingredients, is nothing short of extraordinary.
- 1⁄3 cup canola oil
- 4 lb. beef oxtails, trimmed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 lb. pork sausage
- 3⁄4 cup flour
- 2 tbsp. Creole seasoning
- 1 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
- 6 scallions, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 stalks celery, minced
- 1 large yellow onion, minced
- 1 smoked turkey neck, cut into 2″ pieces
- 8 cups chicken stock
- Cooked white rice, for serving
- Heat 1 1⁄2 tbsp. oil in an 8-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high. Season oxtails with salt and pepper; cook until browned, and fat is rendered, about 20 minutes, and transfer to a plate. Cook sausage until browned, 5-7 minutes; transfer to a plate. Add remaining oil and sprinkle in flour; make a dark roux Add Creole seasoning, chile flakes, scallions, garlic, celery, and onion; cook until soft, 10-12 minutes. Add reserved meats, the turkey neck, stock, and salt; boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook, covered, and skimming fat as needed, until oxtails are tender, about 3 hours. Uncover; cook until thickened, 35-40 minutes. Serve with rice.