If you have five red rock crab and yet a lot of people who like to eat, a crowd pleaser to crab gumbo. Earlier in the season we butchered a whole pig, so I had sausage, stock and lard left from that to use in the gumbo. The rock crabs were caught in pots soaked off Pier 9 in San Francisco. You can see how to catch your own crabs here.
Step 1: Cook and Clean the Crab
I dropped the rock crab into boiling water and cooked them for 10 minutes. I strained the water, and cleaned them. The claws are where most of the meat is found. So tap these with a hammer or something hard to crack them, then clean out the crab meat. The legs are pretty small, so these I tossed whole into the gumbo. The bodies were also a little small to clean and a lot of meat was left in the claw shells, so I put these into a pan with five cups of water and let it simmer. The kitchen began to smell swampy...
Step 2: Add Sausage and Vegetables
Brown your sausage-I had about 1 pound. Remove from pan and then add 1 onion, 2 green peppers, and 4 stalks of celery. Sautee these.
Step 3: Combine Stocks
To your pork stock, add 1 can tomato sauce, or canned diced tomatoes and 1 can tomato paste. Combine pork stock and crab stock (after you strain out the crab shells) in one large pan, then add the sausage vegetables and spices. (2 bay leaves, 2 tbsp. paprika, 2 tbsp. red chili flakes, 1 tbsp. salt, 2 tbsp. black pepper.)
Step 4: Make Roux
Put 1 cup of pork lard in a frying pan and melt on low heat. Slowly stir in 1 3/4 cups of flour. Continue to stir and cook for 20 minutes.
Step 5: Add Crab Mea, Okra, & Greens to Gumbo
Add the crab meat, 1 pound of slice okra, and 1 pound of collard greens cut into ribbons and simmer for 45 minutes until flavors blend. If you live somewhere where they sell filé, or (sassafras leaves), then add this spice towards the end. I live in San Francisco and couldn't find it anywhere, so I added spices to taste.
Step 6: Serve Small Amounts of Crab to Many People
The gumbo lets you stretch the crab far! I was able to serve about 25 people gumbo over white rice.