3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped bell peppers
1 cup chopped celery
2 tea. salt
1 tea. cayenne
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 bottle amber or dark larger beer
8 cups shrimp stock, at room temperature
6 gumbo crabs, broken in half (optional)
1 pound med. shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
2 doz. oysters, shucked, with their liquor
1/2 lb.cooked crawfish tails
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped parsley
3 cups cooked white long-grain rice
1. Heat the oil and in a large cast-iron Dutch oven or stock pot over med. heat. Add the flour and stirring constantly with a large wooden spoon, cook to make a dark brown roux, the color of chocolate, about 30 to 40 minutes.
2. Add the onions, bell peppers, celery, salt, cayenne and bay leaves. Cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. add the beer, stir to blend, and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock and mix to blend with the roux.
3. Add the crabs and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 hrs. Add the shrimp and crabmeat and cook for 10 minutes.
4. Add the oysters, crawfish, green onions, and parsley and cook until the edges of the oysters curl, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaves.
5. To serve, spoon rice into the center of the serving bowls and top with the gumbo. Serve with the file powder passed at the table for guests to thicken the gumbo to their personal taste.