Gumbo

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 8 people

In the Deep South of the USA, writes Shane Mitchell, the way you make your gumbo depends on the answer to one question: who's your mama?

  • 900 gm large uncooked king prawns, peeled, deveined, shells and heads reserved
  • 6 blue swimmer crabs, back shell and gills discarded, body halved and reserved, legs and claws reserved
  • 175 ml (¾ cup) vegetable oil
  • 150 gm (1 cup) plain flour
  • 3 white onions, diced
  • 4 large celery stalks, diced
  • 1 green capsicum, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp cayenne, or to taste
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 450 gm picked crabmeat
  • ½ cup (firmly packed) spring onion tops, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup (firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • To serve: boiled medium-grain white rice, potato salad and Tabasco
01   Bring 3.8 litres water to the boil in a stockpot, add prawn shells and heads, and crab claws and legs. Reduce heat to low and simmer until reduced by half (2-3 hours). Strain (discard solids) and set aside.
02   Heat vegetable oil over low-medium heat in a large casserole or saucepan. Add flour and stir continuously with a flat-edged wooden spoon until mixture starts to change to the colour of cream (5-10 minutes).
03   Continue to stir until roux begins to darken (15-30 minutes).
04   Reduce heat to very low and stir continuously until roux is dark brown (15-30 minutes; be careful, mixture can quickly burn if left unattended).
05   Add onions and stir until the liquid from the onions loosens the mixture (2-3 minutes).
06   Add celery, capsicum, garlic and 60ml water and stir occasionally until vegetables start to soften (15 minutes).
07   Gradually add 1.25-1.5 litres prawn and crab stock (reserve remainder for another use), stirring continuously to create a medium-thick soup base. Season to taste with Worcestershire, cayenne and sea salt flakes.
08   Increase heat to medium, add crab bodies and bay leaves and simmer until crab is cooked (20-30 minutes).
09   Add prawn meat and cook until just pink (1-2 minutes).
10   Remove pan from heat, stir in crabmeat, spring onion tops and parsley and stand for flavours to develop (20-30 minutes). Remove bay leaves and discard. Serve gumbo hot with rice, potato salad and Tabasco.

Topics:

PRAWNS, SHELLFISH, CRABS, MASTERCLASS, AMERICAN, MAIN, CAPSICUM, CELERY, SEAFOOD, SPRING

Recipe:

SHANE MITCHELL

Photography:

ELLA BRODIE-REED

Styling:

LISA FEATHERBY

FEATURED IN

Nov 2012

Nov 2012

View Full Site