A hardwood fire is an essential part of the gumbo process

The pig tails were beautiful at Zuppardo’s Supermarket this morning. They were even more beautiful with the morning sun glinting off them as they went on the antique Weber smoker in our 9th Ward backyard.

We have a couple dozen gumbo recipes in our repertoire but most of them are day in day out versions with smoked chicken and link sausage we pick up from Terranova Superette or Quicky’s. And we keep a quart jar filled with handmade roux in the fridge so we can bang out a gumbo on a Tuesday night without breaking a sweat.

But once in a blue moon we’ll go all out and use St John The Baptist andouille sausage with freshly harvested Louisiana crawfish, and pig tail master stock. Then we set about town with Tupperware care packs and distribute the gumbo to our favorite barkeeps, waitresses and line cooks.

Here’s our recipe for Crawfish Andouille Gumbo With Pig Tail Master Stock

1lb crawfish tails, Louisiana-raised

2lbs Sausage, smoked, andouille, chopped

3 each Onions, yellow, sweet, chopped

4 ribs celery, chopped

4 each peppers, bells, chopped

1 head garlic, minced

1 T. Cayenne, powder

1 T. pepper, Black, ground

Salt to taste

4 quarts stock, pig tail master stock details

1 bunch Onion, green, chopped

Method

First let’s make a roux. :

* Heat 1/2 c. bacon fat in heavy bottomed cast iron pot

* Add 1 c. flour, and stir over medium heat for 30 minutes

* It is crucial that the roux be constantly stirred

* Once it’s light brown set aside to cool

Now let’s make the gumbo

* Heat 1/4 c. oil in medium stockpot, I use a Le Creuset

* Add onions, peppers, and celery-the Holy Trinity of Cajun cuisine

* Cook til the Trinity is nicely caramelized

* Add garlic and sausage, cook 15 minutes

* Add black pepper and cayenne pepper, cook 15 minutes

* Add stock, simmer for 30 minutes

* Add roux to gumbo

* Add crawfish, stirring constantly

* Add chopped green onions

* Simmer 15 minutes

Voila! You now have a kettle of the best gumbo you will ever put in your mouth

Cooking notes
* Make sure you serve your gumbo over hot, freshly made rice
* We use medium grain rice sourced from Crowley, Louisiana
* Freshly chopped green onions are a common garnish in Acadiana
* Crystal hot sauce may or may not improve your gumbo
* Swamp Pop soda pop makes a fine chaser
* If we pair beer with our gumbo we like to use Catahoula Common out of Hammond Louisiana
* Source the best andouille sausage you can lay your hands on and give it a nice long slow smoke in your backyard. We use pecan wood

We’ll be heading back out to Austin, Texas this year for a big gumbo pop up celebrating the 9th anniversary of the Scrumptious Chef website

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