“A stew as dark and murky as the Louisiana swamps it hails from, gumbo comes in many variations, the protein combinations traditionally dictated by whatever was trapped or caught that day. The key to a good gumbo is a complex roux base- the darker, the better.”
Rabbit and Andouille Gumbo
- 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) olive oil
- 350 g (12 oz) andouille sausage, cut into large pieces
- 1 rabbit, cut into large pieces
- 1½ tablespoons Cajun seasoning (see below)
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 1 green capsicum (bell pepper), diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1.5 litres (52 fl oz/6 cups) chicken stock
- 1 batch of roux (see below)
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce
- Boiled white rice, to serve
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons garlic granules
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons white pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 cup flour of choice
- 1 cup oil of choice
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and brown the sausage on both sides. Remove from the pot and set aside.
- Season the rabbit pieces on both sides using half the Cajun seasoning. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pot. Working in batches, add the rabbit and brown on both sides. Remove and set aside.
- Add the final tablespoon of oil to the pot, then add the ‘trinity’the onion, celery and capsicum plus the garlic. Cook for 5–7 minutes to soften the vegetables, stirring and picking
up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the bay leaves, cayenne pepper and remaining Cajun seasoning. Meanwhile, heat the stock in a small saucepan and bring
to a gentle simmer.
- Add the roux to the pot with the onion mixture and stir well to combine everything. Add one ladle of warm stock to the roux mixture, stirring as you pour it in. Continue to add one ladle of stock at a time until all the stock is incorporated.
- Bring the mixture to the boil, then return the rabbit and sausage to the pot. Discard any excess fat that has accumulated from the sausage and do not pour it back into the pot (the fat will pool on the surface).
- Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 45–60 minutes, until the rabbit is tender. Remove the rabbit pieces from the pot and pick the meat off the bones. Return
the meat to the pot, discarding the bones. Make sure you remove the rabbit pieces before the meat is completely falling off the bone; rabbit has some very small bones that may end
up in the finished gumbo if you leave it cooking for too long.
- Increase the heat to a vigorous simmer, then add the hot sauce. Cook for a further 5 minutes to warm the rabbit pieces. Serve in bowls ladled over boiled rice.
- Put all the ingredients in a jar, firmly screw on the lid and shake to combine.
- The seasoning will keep for months at a time, though the pepper and some other spices start to lose their freshness and brightness over time.
A traditional Cajun roux is made using oil rather than butter. Equal parts of oil and flour are combined in a skillet and slowly stirred over low heat until it transforms to a dark ‘mud’. This process can take up to 1 hour and shouldn’t be rushed. The darker a roux gets, the less ability it has to thicken, but the richer the flavour.