- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh okra, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups chopped onion
- 2 cups chopped green bell pepper
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups chopped Creole tomatoes (or any firm, ripe tomatoes)
- 1 pound andouille sausage (or any smoked sausage), cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
- 1 pound gumbo crabs (gumbo crabs are hard-shell crabs with the top half removed, the claws and legs attached. They are sold frozen in some seafood markets.)
- 2 1/2 quarts shrimp stock, or combination of water and stock
- 2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Steamed white rice, for serving
Heat 1/3 cup of the oil in a large cast skillet over high heat. Add the okra and cook, stirring constantly with a slotted spoon, until the okra is browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer the okra to a platter and set aside until ready to use.
Heat the remaining 1/3 cup of oil in a large, Dutch oven over high heat until it begins to smoke. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the flour. Stir the flour constantly and continue to cook until the roux is dark brown, the color of a pecan.
When the roux is ready, add the onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, cayenne, salt and black pepper. (The vegetables will prevent the roux from continuing to brown.) Stir and cook the vegetables and seasoning until they are very soft, about 10 minutes. Add the reserved okra, tomatoes, sausage, and the gumbo crabs. Stir for a few minutes, then add the shrimp stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Right before serving, add the shrimp and the parsley and simmer for 5 minutes longer until cooked through. Adjust the seasoning if necessary, and serve over rice in deep bowls.