Uncle Peter’s famous gumbo

This gumbo is always one of the highlights of any trip to see my aunt and uncle! Glad this time I actually took the recipe, though it’ll never taste as good at home…

Serves 9 as a main meal

1/3 cup pancetta, diced
2 1/2 pounds okra, sliced
1 1/2 tsp white pepper
1 1/2 tsp ground red pepper
1 tsp black pepper
2 cups finely chopped onion and celery
10 cups seafood stock
2 cups peeled and chopped tomatoes (tinned would be fine)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp minced garlic
3/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 dried thyme
1/4 unsalted butter
1 pound smoked sausage, sliced
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled
1/2 cup green onions, finely chopped
2 1/2 cups white rice, cooked as per packet instructions

In a 5 1/2 quart pan (preferably cast iron) heat the pancetta over a high heat for about 3 minutes, until it releases it’s fat.

Add 6 cups of the okra and cook for about three minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add 1 tsp of the white pepper, 1 tsp of the red pepper, and the 1 tsp black pepper; stir well. Continue cooking until browned, about ten minutes, stirring frequently.

Stir in the onions and celery and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently and scraping the bottom of the pan as needed.
Add one cup of stock and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the tomatoes and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add another 2 cups of stock and cool for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Stir in the remaining 1/2 tsp white pepper and 1/2 tsp red pepper, plus the salt, garlic, onion powder and thyme. Add the butter and cook until melted; stir through as scrape the bottom of the pan well.

Add the remaining 7 cups of stock an stir well. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Add the smoked sausage and brig to the boil; reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the remaining 2 1/2 cops okra and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the shrimp and green onions; bring the gumbo back to the boil, remove from the heat and serve with rice.

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