Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

Total time:
Yield: 4-6 servings


1 1/2 lbs. shrimp (51 to 60 count), shelled, and deveined; shells reserved

1 8-oz. bottle clam juice 3 1/2 c. ice water

1/2 c. vegetable oil

1/2 c. flour

2 onions, chopped finely

1 red bell pepper, chopped finely

1 rib celery, chopped finely

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 bay leaves

3/4 lbs. smoked sausage, such as andouille or kielbasa, sliced 1/4 inch thick

1/2 c. minced fresh parsley leaves

4 med. scallions, white and green parts, sliced thin

Ground black pepper


Note: Don’t fear the roux! Don’t let- it burn, keep an eye on it, be careful and keep stirring. The roux is what gives the gumbo its distinctive flavor and color. I also use turkey or chicken sausage in this recipe.

Bring the shrimp shells and 4 1/2 c. water to boil in stockpot med-high heat. Reduce heat to med-low; simmer 20 minutes. Strain stock, and add clam juice and ice water (you should have about 2 quarts of tepid stock); discard shells. Set stock aside; keep at room temp.

Heat oil in large, heavy-bottomed sauce-pan (not non-stick) over med-high heat until it registers 200 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and stir in flour gradually with long handled wooden spatula or spoon, working out any small lumps. Continue stirring constantly, reaching into corners of pan, until mixture has a toasty aroma and is deep reddish brown, about the color of an old copper penny or milk chocolate, about 20 minutes. (The roux will thin as it cooks; if it begins to smoke, remove from heat and stir constantly to cool slightly. If it breaks – i.e., if the oil separates – toss it and start over.)

Add onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, thyme, salt, and cayenne; cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables soften, 8 to 10 minutes. Add 1 qt. stock mixture in slow, steady stream, stirring vigorously. Stir in remaining stock. Increase heat to high; bring to boil. Reduce heat to med-low, skim off foam on surface, add bay leaves, and simmer uncovered, skimming foam as it rises to the surface, about 30 minutes.

Stir in sausage; continue simmering about 30 minutes. Stir in shrimp; simmer until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in parsley and scallions, adjust seasonings to taste with salt, ground black pepper, and cayenne; serve with rice, if desired.