Gumbo Des Herbes - Gumbo Z'Herbs
SERVES: 8 to 10

Although there are many versions of this recipe, I feel that Leah Chase, owner of Dooky Chase’s Restaurant in New Orleans, has the best recipe in the world for this dish. Leah, the Queen of Creole Cooking, serves this famous dish each Holy Thursday at her restaurant on Orleans Avenue in downtown New Orleans.


  • 1 bunch mustard greens
  • 1 bunch collard greens
  • 1 bunch turnips
  • 1 bunch watercress
  • 1 bunch beet tops
  • 1 bunch carrot tops
  • 1/2 head lettuce
  • 1/2 head cabbage
  • 1 bunch spinach
  • 3 cups onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 gallons water
  • 5 tbsps flour
  • 1 pound smoked sausage
  • 1 pound smoked ham
  • 1 pound hot sausage
  • 1 pound brisket, cubed
  • 1 pound stew meat
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • salt and cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp filé powder

Clean all greens under cold running water, making sure to pick out bad leaves. Rinse away any soil or grit. The greens should be washed 2 to 3 times. Chop greens coarsely and place in 12-quart pot along with onions, garlic and water. Bring mixture to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Strain greens and reserve the liquid. Place greens in the bowl of a food processor and purée or chop in a meat grinder. Pour greens into a mixing bowl, sprinkle in 5 tablespoons flour, blend and set aside. Dice all meats into 1-inch pieces and place into the 12-quart pot. Return the reserve liquid to the pot and bring to a low boil, cover and cook 30 minutes. Add puréed greens, thyme and season with salt and pepper. Cover and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally until meat is tender, approximately 1 hour. Add water if necessary to retain volume. Add filé powder, stir well and adjust salt and pepper if necessary. Serve over steamed rice.

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