Texas Farmers Market Leaderboard January 2021

Gumbo Sausage


Courtesy of Zack Northcutt

Makes about 5 pounds. 

Sausage recipes and techniques are ubiquitous on the web and in cookbooks. And though making sausage might sound complicated at first, all that’s really needed are quality ingredients, a grinder and a good handle on the grinding process.

For seafood sausage, the key is shrimp. Think of shrimp as the pork fatback in the fat-to-seafood ratio. It adds texture, but most of all, it helps bind the meat together. I like to keep about a 25-percent shrimp-to-seafood mixture. Here’s an easy recipe to get you started.


Gumbo Sausage


For 1 Batch(es)


  • 4 pounds grouper, or similar firm white fish
  • 1 pounds shrimp
  • 1/2 cups green bell pepper, rough-chopped
  • 1/2 cups yellow onion, rough-chopped
  • 1/2 cups celery, rough-chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons sweet smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons Zatarain's spice mix

Gumbo Sausage Directions

  1. Cut the fish and shrimp into cubes so that they’ll go through the meat grinder easily, then mix the cubes with the ground spices and salt. 
  2. If adding vegetables, such as garlic and peppers or fresh herbs, rough-chop them first, then mix with the cubed meat and spices before running it all through the meat grinder. Remember not to overwork or heat the final mixture to avoid a smear. 
  3. Form the ground sausage into any shape you’d like before cooking, or if you’re adventurous and want to stuff the sausage, purchase a bundle of casings, also known as a hank of casings (check with your local butcher or order online). 
  4. Follow the package directions, which will include soaking the casings in water overnight to help with elasticity and to avoid breakage. Just remember to go slowly when stuffing, and to fill the casings full but not too tight—you don’t want them to burst when you’re twisting them into links. 
  5. To cook the sausage, whether it’s stuffed or in patties, I suggest “slow and low.” Cast-irons are my favorite pans to use, but a regular aluminum or nonstick will work just as well. Start the pan on medium to low heat and add just enough oil to coat the pan—this will help protect the casings from burning. If you are grilling, again, low temperatures are best, because sausage will leak fat and cause flare-ups if the heat is too high. I like to start on a medium-heat fire and cook the sausages for a few minutes on either side, then place them on a raised warming platform and cook the vegetables underneath. 

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