Bank On Sam’s Banger Gumbo Recipe!
I had wanted to update my previous Sam’s Hot & Piquant Gumbo Recipe post but there are so many photos, plus this sausage pasta version was so delicious, I think it deserves a post on its own!
In case you do not already know, I love minced meat and thus the natural inclusion of sausages in my diet! I do eat Nojax (short for no jacket) hot dogs out of necessity when cravings strike but I am a bigger fan of those dogs that snap!
Note: Hot dog is a type of sausage but in my family’s context, a “hot dog” means skinless cooked sausage that has a softer bite i.e. cocktail sausages. Most are commercially prepared in vats where rapidly moving blades grind and mix the ingredients (the meats, fat spices, binders and fillers are ground together very finely into a paste) in the same operation whereas, a “sausage” means those stuffed in natural casings (did you know that there are those stuffed in reconstituted collagen casings i.e. Kosher hot dogs?), needs cooking, has a firmer texture and a “snap” that releases juices and flavour when bitten. This “hot dog/sausage” definition is our way to let whoever is doing the grocery shopping understand what we want to buy.
Bratwurst is a type of German sausage made from veal, beef, or most commonly pork. The name is derived from the Old High German Brätwurst, from brät-, finely chopped meat, and Wurst, sausage, although in modern German it is often associated with the verb braten, to pan fry or roast.
While sausage recipes can be found as early as 228 AD, the first documented evidence of the Bratwurst in Germany dates back to 1313, and can be found in the Franconian city of Nuremberg, which is still an internationally renowned center for the production of grill sausages.
The term dog has been used as a synonym for sausage since the 1800s, with one thought being that it came from accusations that sausage makers used dog meat, starting in at least 1845. In the early 20th century, consumption of dog meat in Germany was common. The suspicion that sausages contained dog meat was “occasionally justified”.
Hot dogs are traditionally high in fat and salt and have preservatives sodium nitrate and nitrite, which are possible contributors to nitrate-containing chemicals believed to cause cancer. These health concerns have resulted in manufacturers offering alternative product lines made from turkey and chicken, and un-cured, low-sodium, and “all-natural” franks.
Hot dogs have relatively low carcinogenic heterocyclic amines (HCA) levels compared to other types of ready-to-eat meat products, because they are manufactured at low temperatures.
In spite of this, an American Institute for Cancer Research report found that consuming one 50-gram serving of processed meat — about one hot dog — daily increases risk of colorectal cancer by 20 percent. However, in context this represents but a 1.2% increase in the probability of contracting colorectal cancer from eating processed meats, from 5.8 percent to 7 percent when a hot dog is consumed every day over years, causing the AICR’s warning campaign to be characterized as “attack ads”. The Cancer Project group also filed a class-action lawsuit demanding warning labels on packages and at sporting events.
Hot dogs are also singled out and attacked for containing ingredients commonly found in prepared meat products. An unopened package of franks contains ingredients that have the potential for promoting the growth of Listeria bacteria. Listeria monocytogenes can also cause serious infections in infants and pregnant women, and can be transmitted to an infant in utero or after birth. Adults with suppressed immune systems can also be negatively affected. Prevention involves heating the hot dogs to a temperature that will kill pathogens. – Wikipedia
Sam’s Banger Gumbo Recipe (SBG)
(serves 4 – 5 persons)
Cooked Rice or Pasta (macaroni, penne, fusili, etc…)
Roux (thickening agent):
⅓ cup Olive Oil.
⅓ cup Plain Flour.
190g Bacon Bits (the packaging was 190g but you need not be exact).
2 large Red Onions, diced (you can use Yellow Onions).
¼ head Cabbage, chopped (350g+-).
1 Carrot, cubed (250g+-).
2 stalks Celery, sliced (my family doesn’t like it so I omitted).
2 Lemongrass, optional.
1 can Diced Tomatoes (400g+-).
4 Bay Leaves.
1 litre Chicken Broth (fresh or store-bought).
2 – 2½ litres Water (adjust while simmering to the viscosity you like).
Salt, to taste.
Black Pepper, to taste.
A few sprinkling of dried Crushed Red Pepper, optional.
½ teaspoon Chilli Powder, optional.
½ – 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano, optional.
1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika, optional.
1½ tablespoons Tabasco, or to taste.
⅓ cup Lea & Perrins’ Worcestershire Sauce, or to taste.
1. In a large pot, sauté the bacon till fats ooze with 1 tablespoon olive oil (from the roux), then add whole sausages. Once browned, remove them onto a plate and set aside.
2. Pour olive oil, butter and flour into the pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is the colour that appeals to you, light copper or very dark brown roux. Besides being the thickening agent of this soupy stew, the colour of the cooked roux will determine the colour of your finished product.
3. Add onions and carrots into the pot with roux, and sweat them for 5 minutes. Stir in the cabbage and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 – 10 minutes.
4. Throw in the bacon, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, bay leaves, water and salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a soft rolling boil.
5. Add the rest of the optional seasonings. Go crazy with Tabasco and Worcestershire or remain tamed and adjust according to taste or leave out those that doesn’t appeal to you.
6. Cover pot with lid and turn down the heat. Simmer for a minimum of 15 minutes then add in the sliced sausages. Needless to say, the longer you simmer, the better the flavour.
7. Keep the lid on during the first 15 minutes of simmering. If you take the lid off too often you might need to (or not) add more water to maintain the liquid level that suits your desired stew viscosity – soupy or gooey.
8. Taste and adjust final seasonings. Once cooking is done, turn off heat and fold in the optional dollop of butter if desired. I find that butter gave this stew a luscious body.
9. Ladle as much gumbo as you want over hot rice. Or if using pasta, cook them according to the instructions on package, drain away the salted water. Transfer pasta into the pot of simmering gumbo and stew for 4 minutes on medium heat. Turn off heat, cover pot with lid and let it sit for a couple of minutes before serving.
I still had ⅓ pot of gumbo left so the next day, I decided to try having it with pasta instead of rice. What I did was to top up the leftover stew with one brätwurst and one lingüiça (I didn’t fry them this time, just slice and put into leftovers), added more chicken broth and water, adjusted the seasonings with more oregano to give it an Italian feel, chilli flakes, freshly ground black pepper, smoked paprika, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce. There was no need for salt since my pasta is going to be cooked in salted water. Reheat and simmer stew on medium heat and start cooking the pasta. Bring 5 litres water with 2 tablespoons salt to a fast boil and cook 250g of penne according to the package’s instructions. When pasta is ready about 10 minutes, drain the water and transfer them to the simmering pot with lid off for about 4 minutes. Turn off heat and cover pot with lid. Let it sit for a couple minutes before serving. Top with some shaved or grated Parmigiano-Reggiano if you desire.
In my humble opinion and personal taste preference after eating both rice and pasta versions, I would omit brätwurst as I find it overly rich and can be too satiating or jelat as we locals put it. I find Lingüiça with its pepperoni-like texture, albeit more sophisticated in taste, suitable to be used in Italian dishes so I added more oregano when I cooked the pasta version. Make the gumbo more soupy when using penne as they will certainly soak up and reduce the stew slightly.
This recipe was created out of curiosity with a sense of food adventure so you can add on or take away anything you deem fit according to your personal taste preference. I highly recommend that you taste the seasonings to get their profiles and taste again as you cook to adjust.
Bank On Sam’s Banger Gumbo! And enjoy two choices of carbs to go with this yummilicious stew! Try it this weekend. 🙂
Happy cooking, eating and bonding! 🙂
See my original gumbo creation here:
Sam’s Hot & Piquant Gumbo Recipe