Alton Brown's Shrimp Gumbo

By • February 10, 2015 59 Comments

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Author Notes: A hands-off method for a rich, dark gumbo roux, so you can celebrate Mardi Gras away from the stove. While I recommend following the recipe as written -- and it's well worth the trouble of finding head-on shrimp and filé powder for what might be the most soul-stirring gumbo you've tasted -- the most important lesson to take away here is that any gumbo is more within reach when you bake your roux. Adapted slightly from The Food Network.Genius Recipes

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Serves 6

  • 4 fluid ounces vegetable oil
  • 4 ounces all-purpose flour (or about 1 cup less 4 teaspoons, if measuring by volume)
  • 1 1/2 pounds raw, whole, head-on, medium-sized (31-50 count) shrimp
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced green peppers
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup peeled, seeded, and chopped tomato (fresh or canned)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices and browned in a little oil
  • 1 tablespoon filé powder
  • Rice for serving
  1. Heat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Place the vegetable oil and flour into a 5- to 6-quart cast iron Dutch oven and whisk together to combine. Place on the middle shelf of the oven, uncovered, and bake for 1 1/2 hours, whisking 2 to 3 times throughout the cooking process.
  3. While the roux is baking, de-head, peel, and devein the shrimp. Place the shrimp in a bowl and set in the refrigerator. Place the heads and shells in a 4-quart saucepan along with the 2 quarts of water, set over high heat and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour or until the liquid has reduced to 1 quart. Remove from the heat and strain the liquid into a container, discarding the solids.
  4. Once the roux is done, carefully remove it from the oven and set over medium-high heat. Gently add the onions, celery, green peppers, and garlic and cook, moving constantly, for 7 to 8 minutes or until the onions begin to turn translucent. Add the tomatoes, salt, black pepper, thyme, cayenne pepper, and bay leaves and stir to combine. Gradually add the shrimp broth while whisking continually. Decrease the heat to low, cover, and cook for 35 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the shrimp and sausage, and stir to combine. Add the filé powder while stirring constantly. Cover and allow to sit for 10 minutes prior to serving. Serve over rice.

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