Cabbage and Ham Hock Gumbo

Cabbage and Ham Hock Gumbo

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2006


  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped bell peppers
  • 4 cups savoy cabbage, julienned
  • 2 pounds smoked ham hocks
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 7 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon Essence, recipe follows
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 tablespoon file powder
  • 2 cups cooked white rice

Combine the oil and flour in a large cast iron or enameled cast iron Dutch oven over medium heat. Stirring slowly and constantly for 20 to 25 minutes, make a dark brown roux, the color of chocolate. Add the onions, celery, and bell peppers and continue to stir for 4 to 5 minutes, or until wilted. Add the cabbage and continue to saute for 2 minutes. Add the ham hocks, salt, cayenne, and bay leaves. Continue to stir for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the stock and Essence. Stir until the roux mixture and stock are well combined. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until the ham hocks are very tender, skimming any fat that rises to the surface.
Remove the bay leaves and ham hocks and set aside until the ham hocks are cool enough to handle. When the hocks have cooled enough to handle, shred the meat from the hocks and place the meat back into the gumbo. Discard bones and skin. Remove the gumbo from the heat and stir in the parsley, green onions, and file powder. Serve the gumbo in deep bowls with the rice.


Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
  • Yield: 2/3 cup

Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch, published by William Morrow, 1993.

I found this recipe on Food Network for the ham hock(s) in your bag. It was awesome! This is a perfect dish to make on the weekend and eat for dinners during the busy work week. I did make some changes that you might want to try. First, I used red cabbage instead of Savoy Cabbage. I used gluten-free flour and grape seed oil for the roux. I omitted the file powder because I couldn't find it in any stores. It's a Cajun spice. If anybody finds it, let me know where! I also used chicken stock to cook the rice instead of water. Emeril's Essence can be made at home or bought in the stores. I use it in everything. The mix that is sold in stores doesn't seem to have unwanted additives in it, so either way seems fine to me. As far as the cayenne, I would just tailor it to your taste. We like heat, so I added more. If spice doesn't agree with you, keep it minimal. Happy Cooking!! Let me know if you tried it and how it turned out.