Biscuit Topped Seafood Gumbo Pie

Biscuit Topped Seafood Gumbo Pie

3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter
3/4 pound smoked sausage, sliced
3/4 pound cooked bonelss ham steak, cut into 2 by 1/4 inch strips
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small celery rib, minced
3 tablespoons rice
2 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 pound shrimp, shelled
1/2 pound okra, sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 1/2 tablespoons cold butter
3/4 cup buttermilk

Make the gumbo: In a heavy medium skillet, combine 3 tablespoons
of the oil with the flour and cook over moderatly low heat, stirring
occasionally, until the roux is dark mahogany in color, about 1
hour. Do not let burn. Immediately remove from heat.

In a medium flameproof casserole, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter
with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Add the sliced sausage and cook
over moderate heat until well browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer
to a plate with a slotted spoon. Add the ham strips to the casserole
and cook until lightly browned, about 7 minutes; add to the plate
with the sausage slices.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and the onion to the casserole.
Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until softened and
translucent, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderately low
and add the garlic, green and red bell peppers, celery and rice.
Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes longer.

Reheat the brown roux if necessary. Scrape it into the casserole
with the vegetables and rice. Stir in the chicken stock and lemon
juice. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the sausages and ham,
reduce the heat to moderately low and cook, covered, for 25 minutes.

Stir in the cayenne, shrimp and okra and season with salt and black
pepper to taste. Cook, stirring once or twice, for 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat.

Make the topping: Preheat the oven to 450F. In a medium bowl,
combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Cut in the 5 1/2 tablespoons
of the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in
the buttermilk until a soft dough forms.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough 1/2 inch thick.
Using a 2 1/2 inch round cutter, stamp out 12 biscuits.

Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Pour the hot gumbo into
a shallow 9 inch round baking dish. Arrange the bicuits on top
and brush with the melted butter. Bake until the biscuits are
puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes.