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posted: 11/7/2012 5:36 AM

Final Four Sausage Gumbo

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1˝ teaspoons ground red pepper

1˝ teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika

1 teaspoons adobo seasoning

1 teaspoon sea salt

˝ teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon oregano leaves

1 bay leaf

6 tablespoons filé powder

4 cups red onions, chopped finely

4 cups celery, chopped finely

4 cups green pepper, chopped finely

3 teaspoons garlic, minced

˝ cup butter

˝ cup canola oil

2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce

2˝ cups canned tomato sauce

3-5 cups chicken stock (use more for soupier texture)

1 large link bratwurst, sliced lengthwise and cut into half moon ˝-inch pieces

1 large link Polish sausage, cut into 1-inch full moon shaped pieces

1 large link hot Italian sausage, cut into 1˝-inch half moon pieces

1 large link andouille sausage, sliced lengthwise and cut 2-inch biased cut pieces

Combine the seasonings (red pepper through filé powder) in a small bowl and set aside. You will use this en masse once you start cooking the vegetables.

Put onions, green peppers, celery and garlic into an 8- to 12-quart soup pot and turn heat to high. Add canola oil and butter and cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. The vegetables will start to wilt and become smaller in volume.

Stir in the seasoning mix; the mixture will turn a dark color because of the file powder. Stir constantly for 2 more minutes so the mixture does not stick to the bottom. Add hot sauce and continue stirring the mixture for another 6-8 minutes over high heat.

Stir in the tomato sauce and reduce heat to medium. Keep stirring constantly for another 4 minutes. During this stirring process, scrape the bottom of the pot with the spoon to get all the seasoning incorporated. After 4 minutes, add 3 cups chicken stock and bring to a simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir occasionally. Add additional broth to reach desired consistency.

While the gumbo simmers, get sausages ready. After cutting each sausage into different shapes, use a large saucepan and fry up each of the sausages separately. You don't want to combine all their flavors. Fry them up until the sausage pieces get brownish edges, 3-5 minutes. Place each sausage on its own plate covered with paper towel. Let the paper towels absorb the fat for a minute or two. Or, cook each batch of sausage in the microwave on high heat for 3-5 minutes and let rest on a paper-towel lined plate.

Twenty minutes before serving, add the sausage and turn heat to medium. Stir occasionally, and add more red pepper or hot pepper sauce to taste. Serve over steamed rice if desired.

Serves six to eight.

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