1 hour 45 min
2 hours 45 min
FOR THE CAJUN SEASONING MIX:
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 2½ tablespoons dried basil
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons black pepper corns
- 1 tablespoon white pepper
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 3 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 4 tablespoons sweet paprika
- 1 tablespoon hot paprika
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
FOR THE ROUX:
- Sea salt
- ½ cup bacon drippings
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
FOR THE SPAM®BO:
- 1 (12-ounce) can SPAM® Classic
- 1 cup celery, coarsely chopped
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 large green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
- Dash of olive oil
- 1 quart water
- 2 (32-ounce) containers of no salt added beef stock
- ½ pound andouille sausage, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- Pinch of sea salt
- 2 tablespoons red pepper sauce
- 4 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 (14-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
- 6 ounce can tomato sauce
- 2 teaspoons file powder
- 2 packages of frozen, sliced okra (20 ounce) or 2 pounds of fresh okra
- 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
- 1 pound lump blue crab, fresh picked or canned
- 3 pounds uncooked shrimp, 21-25 total
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- Cooked white rice (lightly salted)
- To make the Cajun seasoning, place the black pepper corns in a spice grinder and finely grind them, then place in a medium sized bowl.
- In the grinder, add all the other Cajun seasoning ingredients: oregano, basil, 1 tablespoon thyme, white pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper, sweet paprika, hot paprika, garlic powder, and brown sugar. Pulse until ground fine.
- Add Cajun seasoning to the black pepper corns and mix together well. Store in a clean Mason jar.
- To make the SPAM®BO, Cut the SPAM® Classic into ¼ inch cubes, then brown the SPAM® and andouille sausage in a non stick skillet. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
- In a good sized, heavy bottom soup pot, bring 1 quart of water and all the beef stock to a low boil.
- Meanwhile, add a dash of olive oil to a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sweat the Trinity (or the celery, onion, bell pepper), then add a dash of Cajun seasoning. Do not brown. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Increase the heat under the non-stick skillet.
- To make the roux, add 1/4 cup bacon drippings and the butter to the skillet. Stir the flour into the melted bacon grease and butter a little at a time, stirring slowly and constantly. The mixture will bubble and seems like nothing is happening, then it will start to darken. It will turn the color of brown mustard, then baked bread, then pecan shell, and finally you want a deep, rich brown. This may take 20 to 30 minutes to happen. Be patient. Turn off the heat and keep stirring. The fat is continuing to cook your flour.
- Add the Trinity (or celery, onion and bell pepper) into the roux, then add the SPAM® Classic, andouille sausage, and minced garlic. Keep stirring.
- Whisk the roux into the low boiling stock. Reduce to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add white sugar, sea salt to taste, and red pepper sauce. Stir well and then incorporate the Cajun seasoning blend to taste.
- Add the bay leaves, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, the stewed tomatoes, and the tomato sauce. Simmer and stir frequently for 60 minutes. At the 45 minute mark, add file powder.
- Cook 1/4 cup bacon drippings and the sliced okra in a skillet. Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to keep the okra from becoming slimy as they cook. Cook for 15-20 minutes.
- Add the okra to the SPAM®BO in the soup pot, and let simmer on very low heat, being careful to not scorch the bottom of the pot.
- 1 hour before serving, cook white rice (salted lightly), and add blue crab, uncooked shrimp, and Worcestershire sauce. Let simmer until shrimp is cooked.
- When ready to serve, remove the bay leaves and add salt, file and hot sauce to taste. Plate in a big bowl for your guests with a healthy spoonful of fluffy rice in the center.
- Sprinkle a dash of Cajun seasoning mix on the rice for color.
- Serve with crusty French bread, hot sauce and lightly sweetened iced tea.