For the Madisonville-born Creole chef Leah (Lange) Chase, who operates the restaurant Dooky Chase, preparing gumbo z’herbes is a Lenten ritual, as automatic as fish on Fridays and as reverential as Easter Sunday Mass.
- 1 bunch mustard greens
- 1 bunch collard greens
- 1 bunch turnip greens
- 1 bunch watercress
- 1 bunch beet tops
- 1 bunch carrot tops
- 1 bunch spinach
- 1/2 head of lettuce
- 1/2 head of cabbage
- 2 medium onions, chopped (about 3 cups)
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
- 5 tablespoons flour
- 1 pound smoked sausage
- 1 pound smoked ham
- 1 pound brisket, cubed
- 1 pound stew meat
- 1 pound chaurice hot sausage
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon filé powder
- Steamed rice for serving
- Clean greens under cold running water, making sure to pick out bad leaves and rinse away any grit. Chop greens coarsely and place in a 12-quart stockpot with the onions and garlic. Cover with water (about 1-1/2 gallons) and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce to simmer; cover and cook for 30 minutes.
- Strain greens and reserve liquid.
- Cut all meats, except the chaurice, into bite-size pieces (about 1 inch pieces) and place in 12-quart stockpot with 2 cups of the reserved liquid. Steam over a high heat for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut the chaurice into bite-size pieces and place in a skillet over high heat to render, about 10 minutes. Remove chaurice and set aside, keeping the grease in the skillet.
- Blend greens in a food processor until pureed.
- Heat the skillet of chaurice grease over high heat and add flour. Cook roux until flour is cooked, about 5 minutes (does not have to be brown). Pour roux over meat mixture and stir to combine.
- Add puréed greens to the meat in the stockpot and 2 quarts of the reserved liquid. Let simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Add chaurice, thyme and cayenne; stir well. Season and simmer for 40 minutes. Stir in filé powder and remove from heat.
- Serve over steamed rice.