Charlie Martinez finds the ‘it’ recipe for gumbo

Robin McDaniel
Charlie Martinez’s soon-to-be famous Sausage Gumbo was a hit at a recent Maryville Farmers’ Market demonstration.

Photo by Robin McDaniel

Charlie Martinez’s soon-to-be famous Sausage Gumbo was a hit at a recent Maryville Farmers’ Market demonstration.

When I read that City of Maryville firefighter Charlie Martinez was preparing gumbo at the Maryville Farmers’ Market, I knew this was something I did not want to miss. Charlie has a reputation of being a very good cook, and I can attest to that, Charlie has provided “In The Kitchen” with some excellent recipes in the past.

Charlie said he has been playing around with a recipe for gumbo for about two years, and he declared this one was “it.” I can tell you that this recipe was worth the wait.

Charlie also attested to the versatility of this recipe, as you can add shrimp or crabmeat with the sausage for a different taste.

Charlie Martinez’s Sausage Gumbo

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 cup flour

1 cup diced onion

1 medium bell pepper, diced

1 cup celery, diced

2 cloves minced garlic

3 cups beef stock

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 lb. smoked sausage, sliced

2 cups frozen okra

2 cans petite, diced tomatoes, undrained

1/2 tsp. dried parsley

dash of thyme and dried rosemary

salt and pepper to taste

Note: If andouille sausage is substituted, add 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper.

Heat a large cast iron pot. Add oil and flour and whisk over medium heat. Cook until the mixture turns a brown color.

Add onions, celery and bell pepper, and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic, and cook for 1 minute. Add cayenne pepper (if using).

Whisk in beef stock slowly to prevent lumps. Stir in tomato paste, sausage, okra, parsley, thyme, rosemary, salt, pepper and tomatoes. Reduce heat, and let simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.

If adding shrimp, add 1 pound of peeled and deveined shrimp in the last 5 to 10 minutes of cooking time.

Serve over white rice.

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