Hmmmm…Life sure has been hectic over the last 2 months. We decorated; had the kids home for Christmas; shopped until we dropped; and spread good cheer. We have cooked and cleaned and cleaned and cooked. We had 2 Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas dinner and then my best friend, John, had his 60th Birthday on New Year’s Eve, so we threw him a 60th Birthday party, Tex-Mexican style. Whew!!! As a result, the blog has lagged behind and many dishes have yet to be posted. Take this gumbo, for instance.
Part of the challenge of cooking is what to do with leftovers. This can be especially challenging during the Holidays when large meals are cooked for visiting family and friends. Inevitably, you always cook way more than you need because it is always better to have too much food than too little. Hence, there are always leftovers. Friends will only take so much with them (if any) and if its family visiting then it all stays in your fridge. This, in turn, creates additional problems because you only have so much refrigerator space. You can’t buy new food until the leftovers are eaten because it won’t fit in the fridge. 😮 You can only eat so much turkey and dressing, porchetta, standing rib roast., etc. So, you have to find some new and exciting way to fix the leftovers. This dish was one of those how do I get rid of leftovers recipes. You see, the suckling pig was delicious but an 18.7 lb. suckling pig was enough pork to feed 10 – 12 people a main serving and still have leftovers. There were only 6 of us. Even with 4 virile young men eating Christmas dinner we still had 3.5 lbs of deboned suckling pig remaining. If you’ve been paying any attention to this blog, you also knew there was no way I was going to let those beautiful bones go to waste, either. So, obviously, a pork stock was in the making. Sadly, I was too busy with other things that I didn’t get time to take any photos of the process but you follow the same process as in in a chicken/turkey stock. It yielded 1 gallon of delicate, lightly smokey, pork stock. Now that I had 1 gallon of pork stock and 3.5 lbs of pork off the bone, the only sensible thing to do was a gumbo. This is what we did.
- 1.5 lb. boned, smoked piglet, large dice
- 1 lb. sausage, i.e. andouille, sliced into 1/2 inch rings
- 2-1/2 qts pork stock (you can substitute chicken stock)
- 1 cup peanut or canola oil
- 1 cup flour
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 ribs celery, diced
- 2 Tbsp garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp hot sauce (you can substitute 2 tsp cayenne pepper)
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Salt, to taste
- white rice, for serving
First, make a brown roux. For instruction on making a brown roux click here.
Once the brown roux is made, add the vegetables to the roux and continue to cook for 2 – 3 minutes.
As you begin to cook the veggies, you may notice the roux begin to thicken. This is because the veggies are releasing their water which is combining with the flour in the roux to thicken it. At this point, add the pork stock.
Bring liquid to a boil and allow the flour to cook out and begin to thicken the gumbo. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the sausage.
Now, add the smoked piglet
Allow to cook for 30 minutes, or so, to develop the flavors. Taste and adjust salt to taste. Add black pepper and hot sauce.
Cook an additional 10 – 15 minutes to let flavors meld and develop.
To serve, place a mound of white rice in the middle of a bowl and ladle the gumbo around it. Serve & enjoy!