Big Charlie's Gumbo
This is a basic gumbo recipe with a lot of added flavor. You can omit the stew meat if you choose or add something in its place. I recommend you serve this recipe over rice, like many other gumbo recipes.
Filé powder can be added off the heat to thicken the gumbo. If added while the gumbo is still cooking, it may become stringy and unpleasant. File powder is ground sassafras leaves. It is available in many supermarkets.