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Big Charlie's Gumbo

"This is a basic gumbo recipe with a lot of added flavor. You can omit the stew meat if you choose or add something in its place. I recommend you serve this recipe over rice, like many other gumbo recipes."
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4 h servings 421 cals
Original recipe yields 10 servings

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  • Prep

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  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic, onions, celery and okra, stirring constantly until golden brown. Set aside.
  2. In a large heavy bottomed stock pot over medium-high heat, combine 1/4 cup of butter and flour. Cook, stirring constantly, until the roux becomes chocolate brown. Stir in the vegetable mixture, and stew meat. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are tender, and meat is evenly brown. Stir in water, tomatoes and sugar. Season with parsley, thyme, bay leaves, salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add shrimp, crabmeat and andouille to stock pot. Stir in hot pepper sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Remove seeds from lemon and squeeze juice into stock pot. Simmer an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaves, sprinkle with filé powder, and serve.


  • Cook's Note:
  • Filé powder can be added off the heat to thicken the gumbo. If added while the gumbo is still cooking, it may become stringy and unpleasant. File powder is ground sassafras leaves. It is available in many supermarkets.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 421 calories; 26.9 g fat; 15.2 g carbohydrates; 29.6 g protein; 147 mg cholesterol; 1048 mg sodium. Powered by the ESHA Research Database © 2018, ESHA Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Read all reviews 112
  1. 140 Ratings

Most helpful positive review

1st gumbo i made and haven't had to try any others...made this multiple times, by the book and with alterations, personal best is as such... use 1/3 cup flour and butter and take your time when ...

Most helpful critical review

It came out okay, but it did not have the "gumbo flavor" I've had out of New Orleans, so I added some Zataran's gumbo seasoning to give it a kick.

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Least positive

1st gumbo i made and haven't had to try any others...made this multiple times, by the book and with alterations, personal best is as such... use 1/3 cup flour and butter and take your time when ...

This Gumbo was wonderful!! I made it for my husbands 50th birthday dinner. It does take quite a bit of time to make but it was worth every minute. I left out the stew beef and added anduille s...

This recipe is exceptional. I left out the beef, and served it over rice, it was quite good that way, I didn't feel that anything was missing. The andouille sausage adds a LOT of flavor, you r...

Great recipe. I took out the beef and added a 3 pound rotisserie chicken (pulled and stringed). Also made crawfish cornbread to compliment. Next time I will use rock shrimp because I prefer w...

My boyfriend owns a bar, and I made this gumbo for his Mardi gras celebration this year, and everyone LOVED it. I get requests for it all the time. Now that football season is underway I'll be...

Delicious! I did substitute scallops for the beef. Great recipe as written. My hot sauce was habanero.

I thought this recipe was awesome. Very spicy. I did add oysters to the mix tho. For someone like myself that loves fiery food, this is a great recipe. now if i could just convince my family t...

I added chicken gizzards instead of the stew beef. The gumbo was everything I expected it to be. It has become one on my favorite recipes.

Wow! This was great. I used chicken instead of the shellfish and beef and it was wonderful. I would highly recommend it as a way to serve chicken. My whole family (3 kids under 8) enjoyed it.