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Stewed Okra with Tomatoes and Ham

Stewed Okra, this simple recipe includes smoked meat for flavor, yellow onions for sweetness, young, tender okra and tomatoes all smothered or stewed in their own juices. It clearly fits in the South Louisiana comfort food category.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 20 mins
Total Time1 hr 50 mins
Course: Main Dish, Side Dish
Cuisine: Creole
Keyword: stewed okra
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 116kcal
Author: Sweet Daddy D

Here's What You Need

  • 3 slices bacon chopped into 1" pieces
  • ½ pound tasso or smoked ham cubed
  • 2 cups yellow onions rough chop-about 2 medium
  • 1 tablespoon garlic chopped about 3 cloves
  • 4 cups okra sliced
  • 28 ounce whole peeled tomatoes drained-about 3 ½ cups

Herb and Spice Blend

  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Ground black pepper

Here's What You Do

Preparation

  • Rinse the okra in cold water, then chop in 1/2” to 3/4" medallions.
  • Roughly chop the onions and garlic. Slice the bacon in 1” pieces, dice the tasso or ham into bite-size pieces.
  • Drain the tomatoes if using canned. If using fresh, peel and de-seed the tomatoes and place in a colander to drain.

For the Stewed Okra

  • Place the bacon in a cold Dutch oven and turn the heat to medium. Fry the bacon until the fat has rendered, then remove the bacon from the pan but leave the grease. About 5 minutes.
  • Add the ham or tasso to the bacon grease and fry for about 3 minutes.
  • Add the onions to the Dutch oven and fry until clear, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Add the chopped garlic and kosher salt and ground and cook for about 2 minutes, until the garlic is aromatic.
  • Add the sliced okra and Creole seasoning to the onions and cook, uncovered, until gooey stuff is gone, which will take about 30 minutes. Stir often.
  • Mix in the tomatoes, cover the Dutch oven and continue to cook for about 10, minutes.
  • Remove the cover and simmer for another 20 minutes.
  • Taste for seasoning and continue to simmer, uncovered until the okra is tender.

Notes

Frozen, cut okra is great in this recipe and will not need to be defrosted before adding to the Dutch-oven. Good producers will use young okra for freezing.
Okra can have a gooey or slimy “mouthfeel” and be tough or fibrous. Both of these characteristics respond well to long cooking processes that smother or stew the okra. The sliminess will cookout after about 30 minutes, but older, larger okra pods will require a longer cooking time to soften. Full disclosure...I have encountered some okra that is so fibrous and woody that I never did cook them tender.
This recipe can be made vegetarian by leaving out the bacon and ham (obviously) and using vegetable oil, olive oil or margarine in place of the bacon grease. There will be a slight variation in the flavor profile from the original recipe, but it will still be delicious.
Check out the full article Stewed Okra for the basic nutrition characteristics of okra. Also, you can read more about okra including nutrition and health benefits check out this article.
Leftover Stewed Okra can be kept in the fridge for 3 to 5 days or frozen for up to 10 months. For best results, whether preparing for the fridge or the freezer, make sure to let the stewed okra cool to room temperature before placing it in an airtight container. If freezing, store the stewed okra in shallow dishes or vacuum-sealed bags. Defrost overnight in the fridge and then reheat in a saucepan over medium heat or in the microwave.

Nutrition

Calories: 116kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 837mg | Potassium: 499mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 734IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 2mg

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