Okra and Shrimp Stew
SERVES 8 TO 10
If you can find medium shrimp (41 to 50 per pound), use those and leave them whole. Look for meaty ham hocks. If you buy the test kitchen’s preferred brand of andouille sausage, Jacob’s World Famous Andouille, which tends to be thicker than other products, halve it lengthwise before slicing it crosswise.
4 quarts water
1–11⁄4 pounds smoked ham hocks
1 onion, quartered
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
12 ounces andouille sausage, sliced 1⁄4 inch thick
1 pound frozen or fresh okra (stemmed and cut
crosswise 1⁄2 inch thick for fresh)
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 ½ cups frozen baby lima (aka butter) beans
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons table salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 pound large shrimp (26 to 30 per pound), peeled, deveined, and tails removed, cut into thirds
Cooked white rice
1. Combine water, ham hocks, onion, and bay leaf in large Dutch oven and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low; cover, with lid slightly ajar; and simmer until ham hocks are fork-tender, 21⁄2 to 3 hours.
2. Remove pot from heat and transfer ham hocks to cutting board. Let ham hocks rest until cool enough to handle; discard onion and bay leaf from broth. Transfer broth to large bowl; measure out 8 cups broth (add enough water to equal 8 cups if necessary; reserve any excess for another use). Remove ham from bones, discard bones, and cut ham into bite-size pieces. (Broth and chopped ham can be refrigerated separately for up to 2 days. If fat solidifies on top of broth after chilling, you can discard fat before proceeding, if preferred.)
3. Heat oil in now-empty pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add sausage and cook until lightly browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Add okra, tomatoes and their juice, beans, minced garlic, salt, pepper, granulated garlic, onion powder, paprika, 8 cups broth, and ham to pot. Bring to boil over high heat.
4. Reduce heat to medium and cook at strong simmer, uncovered, until reduced by about half and thickened to stew-like consistency, 55 minutes to 1 hour 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low; stir in shrimp; and cook until shrimp are just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over rice.
Photo Credit: Cook’s Country
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