When it comes to classic Louisiana cuisine, it’s hard to top gumbo, a thick, hearty stew featuring richly flavored stock and meat or shellfish. Instead of the usual shrimp- or chicken-based gumbo, though, switching things up with sausage can be a new twist on the dish. By sauteing the pepper, celery, and onion that helps flavor the gumbo in the same pot that you cook the sausage, you layer the flavors throughout the dish for truly delicious stew. Serve your sausage gumbo over cooked rice, and you’ll have a dish that works well as a main course all on its own.
4 large andouille sausage links, sliced into ¾-inch (1.9-cm) ovals
3 tablespoons (43 g) unsalted butter
1 cup (175 g) chopped green bell pepper
1 cup (225 g) chopped celery
1 cup (150 g) chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon (1 g) dried thyme
1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
¼ teaspoon (½ g) cayenne pepper
½ cup (63 g) all-purpose flour
1 14.5 ounce (411 g) can diced tomatoes
4 cups (946 ml) chicken broth
Part One of Four:
Cooking the Sausage
Heat the butter. Add 3 tablespoons (43 g) of unsalted butter to a large Dutch oven or pot. Turn the heat to medium, and allow the butter to melt completely, which should take approximately 3 to 5 minutes.
If you prefer, you can substitute olive oil or vegetable oil for the butter.
Add the sausage and cook for several minutes. Once the butter has fully melted, add 4 large andouille sausage links that have been sliced into ¾-inch (1.9-cm) ovals to the pot. Allow the sausage to cook until color and a light crust develops on all sides of the meat, which should take approximately 5 minutes.
Be sure to stir the sausage constantly as it heats it to ensure that it cooks evenly.
Remove the sausage and set aside. When you’ve finished cooking the sausage, use a slotted spoon to remove it from the pot. Place it on paper towel-lined plate to absorb the excess grease, and set it aside.
There is no need to wash or clean the pot after removing the sausage. You want the remaining butter and grease in it to flavor the gumbo as you move onto the other steps.
Add the pepper, celery, and onion and cook until tender. To the same pot that you cooked the sausage, add 1 cup (175 g) of chopped green bell pepper, 1 cup (225 g) of chopped celery, and 1 cup (150 g) of chopped onion. With the heat on medium, allow the vegetables to cook until they are tender, which should take approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
If you find that the butter has cooked off after you’ve finished with the sausage, you can add 1 to 2 tablespoons (14 to 28 g) more before adding the vegetables.
Stir the vegetables periodically to ensure that they cook evenly.
Stir in the garlic and saute briefly. Once the vegetables are tender, add 4 cloves of minced garlic to the pot. Allow the mixture to cook for approximately 1 minute, or until the garlic becomes fragrant.
If you prefer, you can substitute 1 teaspoon (3 g) of garlic powder for the minced garlic. Add it in the following step with the other dried spices.
Mix in the thyme, salt, and cayenne pepper and cook until fragrant. After you’ve cooked the garlic with the vegetables, add 1 teaspoon (1 g) of dried thyme, 1 teaspoon (6 g) of salt, and ¼ teaspoon (½ g) of cayenne pepper to the pot. Mix the spices in well, and allow the mixture to cook for 30 seconds.
If you want your sausage gumbo to be spicier, you can add more of the cayenne pepper.
You can substitute 1 to 2 teaspoons (3 to 6 g) of Cajun seasoning for the the thyme, salt, and cayenne pepper. It is spice blend that contains all of those ingredients.
Part Three of Four:
Creating the Broth
Stir in the flour until the mixture browns. After you’ve cooked the spices into the vegetable mixture, sprinkle ½ cup (63 g) of all-purpose flour into the pot. Stir well so all of the ingredients are coated with the flour, and turn the heat up to medium-high. Cook the mixture for approximately 1 minute, or until the flour browns.
Add the tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes. Once the flour has browned, add a 14.5 ounce (411 g) can of diced tomatoes to the pot. Allow the tomatoes to cook until they begin to release their juices, which should take approximately 2 minutes.
Make sure to stir the mixture occasionally to ensure that it heats evenly.
Mix in the broth and bring the mixture to a boil. After the tomatoes have released their juices, add 4 cups (946 ml) of chicken broth to the pot. Stir it in well, and cover the pot. Turn the heat to high and allow the mixture to come to a boil, which should take approximately 5 minutes.
It’s best to use low-sodium chicken broth because salt has already been added to the dish.
Return the sausage to the pan and reduce the heat. After the pot has come to a boil, add the cooked sausage to the mixture. Leave the lid off, and turn the heat down to medium.
If the mixture is still boiling after you reduce the heat, you may need to lower the heat to medium-low or low.
Simmer the gumbo for approximately half an hour. When all of the ingredients are combined, let the gumbo simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. Stir the mixture occasionally to ensure that none of the ingredients stick to the pot.
Simmering the gumbo helps thicken it up so it has more of a stew-like consistency. You can simmer it until it reaches the consistency that you like.
Serve the gumbo over rice. Once the gumbo has simmered for about half an hour, remove the pot from the heat. Pour the gumbo over individual bowls of prepared white or brown rice, and serve.
You can add a dash or two of hot sauce to the bowls of gumbo and rice before you serve them if you like.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should keep for up to 3 days.
You can also freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months.