New Orleans-Style Gumbo

Adapted from


4 oz. bacon drippings

4 oz. all-purpose flour

1 cup coarsely chopped celery

4 large Melissa’s shallots, rough chopped

1 large green bell pepper, coarsely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound andouille sausage, sliced

3 quarts beef stock

1 tablespoon white sugar

½ - 1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 tablespoon hot pepper (or to taste)

½  teaspoon Cajun seasoning blend

4 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1 14.5-oz. can petite stewed tomatoes

1 6-oz. can tomato sauce

2 teaspoons gumbo file powder

2 tablespoons bacon drippings

2 10-oz. packages frozen cut okra, thawed

2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

1 pound lump crabmeat

3 pounds uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons gumbo file powder


Preheat the oven to 350° F. 


Make a roux by placing the bacon drippings and flour into a 5 to 6-quart cast iron Dutch oven. Whisk together to combine. Place on the middle shelf of the oven, uncovered, and bake for 80 minutes, whisking every 20 minutes.

Place the celery, onion, green bell pepper, and garlic into the work bowl of a food processor, and pulse until the vegetables are very finely chopped. Stir the vegetables into the finished roux, and mix in the sausage. Bring the mixture to a simmer on top of the stove over medium-low heat, and cook until vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside.


In a stockpot bring the beef stock to a boil. Once boiling, whisk in the roux mixture. Reduce heat to a simmer, and mix in the sugar, salt, hot pepper sauce, Cajun seasoning, bay leaves, thyme, tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Simmer the soup over low heat for 1 hour; stir in 2 teaspoons of file gumbo powder at the 45-minute mark.


Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings in a skillet, and cook the okra with vinegar over medium heat for 15 minutes; remove okra with slotted spoon, and stir into the simmering gumbo. Mix in crabmeat, shrimp, and Worcestershire sauce, and simmer until flavors have blended, 45 more minutes. Just before serving, stir in 2 more teaspoons of file gumbo powder.