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Stout Creole Gumbo over Smokey Cheddar Grits

5 from 1 vote
Servings 6 servings


For the Gumbo:

  • 1 lbs bacon chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1 cup white onions diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • ½ cup stout beer
  • 4 cups seafood or fish broth
  • ½ lbs okra sliced
  • 2 (14.5oz) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon gumbo file
  • 1 lbs andouille sausage cut into ½ inch rings
  • 1 lbs raw shrimp
  • 1 lbs live clams
  • Chopped parsley

For the Grits:

  • 3 ½ cups chicken broth
  • ¼ cup half and half
  • 1 cup corn grits
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese use smoked cheddar for a more intense smoke flavor


Make the gumbo:

  • Add the bacon to a large stockpot or braiser over medium heat. When the bacon starts to render add the onions and peppers, cooking until the onions have softened and the bacon has rendered all of it’s fat.
  • With a slotted spoon remove the bacon and vegetables, setting aside. You want about 1/3 cup of bacon fat still in the pan (no need to meticulously measure, just eyeball it), if there is significantly more than 1/3 cup discard excess, if there is less add the olive oil to the bacon fat. Sprinkle with flour. 
  • Cook the flour, stirring frequently over medium heat, until the roux is dark brown. This will take at least 20 minutes and up to 40 minutes, it’s the backbone of the dishes’ flavor so don’t skip it.
  • Once the roux is a dark brown add the beer, scraping to deglaze the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the broth, tomatoes, okra, bacon and vegetables, Cajun seasoning, cayenne, file, and sausage. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the shrimp and clams, stir slightly and then cover immediately. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Lift the lid, discard any clams that did not open. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Make the grits:

  • Add the broth and half and half to a saucepan, bring to a boil then reduce to a low simmer.
  • Add the grits, salt, and smoked paprika, cover with a lid. Simmer, stirring occasionally until the grits have softened, about 25 minutes. Stir in the cheese.
  • Serve the polenta topped with gumbo.


If you want to make this in advance, stop right before adding the shrimp and clams. The dish without the seafood can simmer over low heat for hours without issue, but it will make the seafood tough. Add the seafood, cooking right before serving. You can also make and refrigerate it without the seafood and then add it back to the pot, bring to a simmer and then cook the seafood before serving. 
Don't store live clams in water or in airtight packaging. Store them in an open container between wet paper towels. Ideally, buy them right before using.