"My husband's grandmother taught me this recipe. She actually cooked for Cajun festivals. She used 40 gallon trash cans for her stock pots. People would line up for this authentic Cajun specialty. This recipe serves eight but multiples well."
In a medium skillet, brown the sausage over medium heat. Remove from pan, and drain on paper towels to remove some of the fat. Discard fat in pan.
Add chopped bacon to pan. Fry until crisp. Remove the bacon.
Cook chopped okra in bacon drippings until okra is no longer slimey. Drain okra with metal colander. Discard bacon drippings. Add can of tomaatoes. Cook until blended.
Cook onion, green pepper, celery, parsley, and garlic in butter. Cook over low heat until the onion is carmelized and the other vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove vegetables.
Make a roux by stirring flour into hot butter. Turn heat
down to low. Continue cooking flour and butter mixture, stirring constantly, until it reaches the color of milk chocolate. This may take 30 to 45 minutes.
When the roux is a dark brown color, add two cups of water to stop the browning process. Add all the spices, the sausage, cooked vegetables, okra and tomatoes and rest of the water slowly. Bring mixture to a boil, and reduce heat. Simmer for about 45 minutes, until flavors are blended.
Add shrimp to gumbo; cook until shrimp are pink about 6-8 minutes longer. Remove bay leaves. Taste, and adjust seasoning. Serve gumbo over cooked white rice.