It can mean only one thing: Stock.
A lot of gumbo recipes don’t call for a special stock, rather just basic chicken or beef broth. My husband makes his own stock and besides filling the house with an incredible smell, it also gives his gumbo added layers of flavor. It’s best to make it the night before so it has plenty of time to cool before it needs to be strained.
1. Peel two pounds of shrimp and add shells to a six quart pot (reserve shrimp for later…)*
2. To the pot, add:
–a loosely chopped onion (remember, you want to strain this so dicing, is, well, dicey)
–a few chopped carrots
–one lemon, sliced,
–1 teas. whole peppercorn
–salt, to taste
–5 or 6 sprigs of thyme
–3 or 4 cloves of crushed garlic
3. Fill with enough water to cover an inch above the level of ingredients and cover.
4. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to gentle simmer
5. Simmer until carrots are tender (about 30 to 45 minutes)
6. Let cool overnight.
* If using frozen shrimp, don’t defrost in the microwave–just soak in a warm water bath to keep from cooking.
Next: Making the Roux
Keywords: making seafood stock