We’re going a little Cajun today and cooking up a traditional Louisiana gumbo, but of course, we’re gonna doing it cowboy style with the help of our friend Justin Wilson.
Take Your Time
The recipe for this Cowboy-style Cajun Gumbo is really easy, but it does take a little time. If you try to rush it, you won’t allow all the great flavors to come together, and you’ll end up with lumpy gumbo.
We start with a roux, which is simply a flour base with grease or butter. I use bacon grease, because everything is better with the flavor of bacon. Melt the bacon grease over a medium/low heat and then sift the flour into the grease. Stir as you sift the flour and stir constantly to avoid those lumps. Continue cooking until the mixture gets thick and golden brown.
Tip: If you’re using cast iron, stir with a wooden spoon or spatula, because wood won’t harm cast iron’s seasoning.
Spice It Up
Add rough-chopped onion, garlic and green bell pepper to the roux to start your flavor explosion. Cook together until the onions are translucent and the peppers are tender, about 10 minutes.
Next, add warm, unsalted beef broth and stir to keep the mixture from getting too thick. If it starts to get too thick, you can add a little water or more warm broth. Cut a pound and a half of andouille sausage into chunks and add to the broth mixture, along with some whole bay leaves. The bay leaves will come out before serving.
Tip: Make sure the beef broth is warm before adding to the roux mixture to prevent clumping.
You can buy Cajun seasoning at the grocery store, but it’s easy to make yourself. Simply combine smoked paprika, oregano and red pepper. That’s easy, right?
We also need to hot some hot sauce to this dish. You can add whatever brand you like, but if you want to keep this truly Southern- add you in some Crystal’s hot sauce.
Tip: Let the mixture simmer for about an hour to let all the flavors come together.
Is It Gumbo Yet?
The answer is, not quite. After the broth, vegetables, sausage and spices have simmered together for about an hour, add just a bit of Worcestershire sauce and two pounds of small peeled, washed raw shrimp. Stir together until everything is mixed well.
The Cowboy Twist
Every good Cajun dish is made better by adding a little wine. And nothing says “cowboy” like Hatch Green Chile Wine. Of course, you can use other white wines, but Hatch Green Chile Wine has a little snap to it that goes great in gumbo. So, I add about two cups, at least, of the wine, gently stir, and then let the gumbo come to a full simmer.
Y’all can eat this right out of the pot, but I do like to serve this over some steamed, fluffy white rice and get ready to dig into a great plate of Cowboy Gumbo!
Watch me and Justin Wilson put this together in our video…
- ½ cup bacon grease
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 white onion chopped
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 4 cups beef broth warmed
- 1 ½ lbs andouille sausage sliced
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon Cowboy Cajun spice recipe below
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 cups white wine Hatch Green Chili White Wine preferred
- 2 lbs peeled and uncooked shrimp
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- Add the bacon to a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat until melted. Slowly sift in the flour and reduce the heat to low. Cook until it is thick and a dark brown about 15 minutes, whisking constantly.
- Stir in the, onion, bell pepper and garlic. Continue cooking about 10 minutes on medium-low heat, or until the vegetables are tender, stirring constantly.
Stir in the warm beef broth until it is smooth. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
Add the sausage, hot sauce, bay leaves, spice mix and thyme. Cook over medium heat for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir in the wine, shrimp, and Worcestershire sauce. Let the mixture simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and discard. Serve hot over rice.
Cowboy Cajun Spice
3 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons sea salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon coarse ground pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
½ tablespoon cayenne pepper
½ tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon Red River Ranch Seasoning (kentrollins.com) or your favorite all-purpose blend