Jacob Clark, chef at Maison Premiere restaurant and bar in Brooklyn, learned to make gumbo from his Louisiana-born father. Today, Clark’s team at the restaurant makes gallons of shrimp-and-lobster stock for his gumbo, but he suggests home cooks just use the reserved shrimp shells and heads from the recipe fortify store-bought fish stock. (He also serves his with a half of a steamed blue crab cracked into every bowl.) To make the stock: Toast the shrimp shells in a 375°F oven until toasty, red, and crisp, then add them to the cold stock. Simmer gently until the broth is rich and flavorful, about 30 minutes, then strain.
What You Will Need
For the Cajun spice:
- 1 tbsp. celery salt
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. sweet paprika
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. onion powder
- 1⁄4 tsp. ground cayenne
- 1⁄4 tsp. ground allspice
For the gumbo:
- 3 cups plus 2 Tbsp. canola oil, divided
- 3 cups (15 oz.) all-purpose flour
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
- 2 cups coarsely chopped green bell pepper
- 2 cups coarsely chopped celery
- 2 cups coarsely chopped yellow onion
- 3⁄4 cup coarsely chopped poblano
- 1 small jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
- 1⁄3 cup garlic, finely chopped
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup okra, cut in ½ inch thick rounds
- 11 cups shellfish or fish stock
- 1⁄2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp. sweet paprika, plus more for sprinkling
- 1⁄2 lb. picked fresh crabmeat
- 1⁄2 lb. andouille sausage, sliced ½-in. thick
- 18 large shucked oysters (about 2 cups)
- 1 lb. medium shrimp, shelled and deveined (about 36 shrimp)
- 1⁄3 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
- Steamed medium-grain white rice to serve
Make the Cajun spice: In a small bowl, mix the spices well and set aside.
Make the roux: In a large skillet, heat 3 cups of oil briefly over medium heat. Add the flour, lower the heat, and whisk the flour and oil together. Let the roux cook, whisking thoroughly every 2–3 minutes, for 2 hours, or until it reaches a deep reddish brown color. (If black flakes develop, the roux is burned. For the purest flavor, you are best off starting over.) Transfer the roux to a heat resistant bowl and let cool slightly.
In a small square of cheesecloth, wrap the bay leaves, thyme, and black peppercorns and tie the bundle with kitchen twine.
As the roux sits, the solids will settle and a layer of oil will float to the surface. Pour or skim ¾ cup of the oil away and discard it. Transfer the remaining roux to a large pot and set over medium-high heat. Once hot, stir in the bell peppers, celery, onions, poblanos, garlic, and jalapeño, and cook, stirring frequently and not allowing the vegetables to brown, until the onions are slightly translucent, 10–12 minutes. Season generously with salt and black pepper, and add the prepared herb bundle. Stir in the stock and bring to a boil. Immediately lower the heat to maintain a strong simmer and cook until the vegetables are very tender, 50-55 minutes. Add the okra and continue cooking for 10 minutes more. Add 1 heaping tablespoon of the Cajun spice mix, and all of the cayenne pepper and paprika. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Once hot, add the andouille slices in batches and cook, turning as needed, until brown on both sides, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to a heat-resistant bowl.
Season the shrimp generously with some of the Cajun spices, then add them in batches to the same skillet. Sear the shrimp, turning once, until just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to the bowl with the sausage slices and set aside.
Bring the gumbo base up to a low boil. Stir in the crab meat, oysters, and parsley, then immediately turn off the heat.
Divide the gumbo into bowls, top with a few slices of andouille and 2–3 shrimp per person, and serve with white rice.