Guest Post – Carol Taylor

My lovely friend and wonderful cook has done this blog post especially for you and it looks wonderful. If you like this you should check out her blog for more recipes. You can find her here. Or on her new blog




I have been thinking about what sort of dish I could pick for a post on my dear friend Steph’s blog and this dish is one my American cousins love. It is also a dish where anything can go into it and ideal for sitting on the stove and having a bowl when you can snatch the time.

It is the national dish of the state of Louisiana and can be made with meat, seafood or both and it has its roots in many cultures French, Spanish, West African and Choctaw.

Originating in Southern Louisiana during the 18th century and whether it is meat, shellfish or a mixture it contains what the Louisianians call ” The Holy Trinity of vegetables” namely celery, bell peppers and onions.

It is a thickened stew using either Okra, a roux( flour and fat) which is the French influence or the Choctaw spice called file which is dried, ground Sassafras leaves.

There are many variations of this dish and everyone will tell you theirs is the original and passed down through the generations but they are all


I cup of flour

3/4 cup of bacon drippings

1 cup coarsely chopped celery

1 medium onion chopped

1 chopped green bell pepper

2/3 cloves of garlic chopped/crushed

1 lb andouille sausage sliced (or sausage of your choice)

6 beef bouillion cubes,

3  quarts of water

1 tbsp sugar

Salt to season

2 tbsp tabasco sauce

1/2 tsp of cajun seasoning

4 bay leaves

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp thyme

2 tsp file powder

1 can tomatoes

1 can of tomato puree

2 tbsp white vinegar

1 lb okra chopped in inch pieces.

1 lb crab meat

3 lb shrimp

2 tsp file powder.

Let’s Cook!

To make roux whisk the flour into 3/4 cup bacon drippings, whisking and cooking until the roux turns a deep brown 20/30 minutes. Be very careful that you do not burn it or you have to start again.

When you remove the pan from the heat continue to whisk until the roux has stopped cooking.

Put your chopped celery, onion and bell peppers into the roux as well as the chopped sausage bring the roux to a soft simmer and cook for a further 10-15 minutes until the veg is soft. Set to one side.

In a large pan bring the water or stock to the boil whisking until the buillion cubes has dissolved if you are using them.

Mix in the sugar, Tabasco sauce, cajum, bay leaves, thyme, tomatoes and tomato puree. Simmer for 1hr in total but at 45 minutes stir in the 2 tsp file gumbo powder.

Meanwhile, melt the remainder 2 tbsp bacon drippings in a pan and add the Okra with the vinegar cook over a medium heat for 15 mins.

Remove the Okra with a slotted spoon and add to the gumbo mixture. Mix in the crab, the prawns and Worcestershire sauce simmer for 45 minutes.

Just before serving stir in the remainder 2 tsp of file gumbo powder.

Serve with steamed rice.



If you have homemade stock then you can use that and also instead of sausage or fish you can use chicken, in fact you can use any mixture of meat/fish that you choose.

I hope you enjoy this lovely anything goes in the pot soup and if you would like to see more recipes from me I can be found over on

Or on my new blog

13 thoughts on “Guest Post – Carol Taylor

  1. Pingback: Gumbo… A favourite soup | Retired? No one told me!

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