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Everyday Gumbo



  • 1 1/2 cups crab meat
  • 2 pounds shrimp, in shells
  • 3 quarts water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 slices lemon
  • 2 slices onion
  • Salt
  • Red and black pepper
  • Parsley
  • 2 pounds okra, sliced
  • 6 tablespoons bacon grease, divided
  • 4 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 2 red pepper pods, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons brown roux
  • Reserved shrimp stock
  • Salt, pepper, thyme, parsley, to taste
  • Hot boiled rice


  1. In a large Dutch oven boil the water with bay leaves, lemon, the 2 slices of onion, and judicious amounts of salt, pepper, cayenne and parsley.
  2. Wash shrimp and add to pot; boil for 2 minutes.
  3. Peel shrimp and return shells to the stock for later use. Set shrimp and crab meat aside.
  4. Sauté okra slices in 3 tablespoons bacon grease in large cast iron skillet. The okra will turn darker and lose some of its stickiness as it cooks. When soft, transfer to a stew pot and add tomatoes. Stir and mix together well.
  5. Clean skillet and heat 3 tablespoons bacon grease in it. Sauté the finely chopped onion, green pepper and red pepper pods. When soft, add these ingredients to the stew pot.
  6. In a saucepan, warm the roux; strain and stir in 2 cups of the shrimp stock. When well-blended, add to the large stew pot with the other ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 hours, adding more strained stock if needed for consistency.
  7. Adjust seasonings with the salt, pepper, thyme, and parsley.
  8. When it has simmered for at least 3 to 4 hours and the flavors have begun to blend, add the shrimp and crab meat and cook for 15 more minutes.
  9. Serve with fresh boiled rice in soup bowls.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

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