Last Updated on 08/19/2021 by Inside Tailgating
LSU and Alabama will meet in New Orleans on Monday for the BCS National Championship. But a champion has already been crowned.
When these SEC foes met earlier this year on Nov. 5 in Tuscaloosa, a 9-6 overtime win for LSU, a Tailgate Cook-off competition was held outside of Bryant-Denny Stadium. Thousands of fans applied to be part of the “LouisiBama Gumbo Bowl Tailgate Cook-off,” and Sandy Herman’s gumbo was chosen as the winning entry. Below is her award-winning gumbo recipe to enjoy no matter where you watch Monday’s big game.
* 1½ pounds jumbo shrimp, with heads and tails
* 1 onion, halved
* 2 bay leaves
* 1 tbsp thyme
* ¼ tsp cayenne
* 2 tbsp Old Bay seasoning
* 2 lemons halved and squeezed
* 1 stick of butter
* 1/2 cup of flour
* 2 yellow onions, chopped
* 2 celery stalks, chopped
* 1 green bell pepper, chopped
* 4 garlic gloves, finely chopped
* 1 bag of frozen okra
* 1 tsp salt
* ½ tsp cayenne pepper
* ½ tsp Old Bay seasoning
* 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
* 3 bay leaves
* 1 tbsp of thyme
* 1 tbsp of gumbo file
* 2 quarts of shrimp stock
* 1 1/2 pounds of peeled shrimp
* 1 pint of raw oysters
* 2 packages (16 ounces each) of frozen crawfish tails
* 1 pint of crab meat
* 3 cups of cooked long grain white rice
* Chopped green onions and flat leaf parsley for garnish
* Crusty French bread
Making Shrimp Stock:
Peel the shrimp and toss the heads and tails into a large stock pot. Refrigerate the peeled shrimp until ready to put in the gumbo. Add the onion, bay leaves, thyme, cayenne pepper, Old Bay and lemons to the pot. Cover with 2 1/2 quarts of cold water, allow the liquid to slowly come to a boil then lower the heat. Gentle simmer for 45 minutes uncovered, skimming any foam off that rises to the top. Strain the stock into another pot to remove the chunky solids. At this point you should have about 2 quarts of broth to use in the gumbo. Cool until needed.
Making the Gumbo:
You must start with a roux base, so melt the butter over medium low heat in a Dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pot, and just as the foam subsides, add the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or whisk, to prevent lumps. Cook the roux until it is the color of walnuts, and smells equally nutty. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic and okra, and season with salt, cayenne and Old Bay. Mix in the tomatoes, bay leaves, and thyme, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring until the vegetables are soft. Pour in the cooled shrimp stock and stir until combined. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the gumbo is dark and thick. Toss in the shrimp, oysters, crab meat and crawfish tail meat. Cook another 15 minutes and taste. If seasoning needs to be adjusted, do so now.
Ladle the gumbo into a shallow bowl and pile rice in the center. Sprinkle with gumbo file, green onions and parsley. Enjoy with the French bread and hot sauce at table.