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Recipe

Butter-Roasted Oysters

Andre Baranawski © 2010

Servings: four to six.

This recipe is basted on the roasted oysters served at Beacon in New York City, created by chef Waldy Malouf. I changed the recipe a little, but it’s still a simple and beautiful one that celebrates the freshness of the oysters accented primarily by butter and thyme.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup good-quality white wine vinegar
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced plus 24 thin shallot slices (about 4 shallots)
  • 1/4 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 to 4 cups rock salt
  • 2 dozen raw oysters, shucked and left on the half shell
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme

Preparation

  • Position the broiler rack as close as possible to the source of the heat. Preheat the broiler.

    Heat the wine, vinegar, sliced shallot, peppercorns, and bay leaf in a small saucepan over medium-high heat to a full simmer. Reduce the heat. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated and what is left is the consistency of maple syrup.

    With the heat on low, whisk in the butter, a few pieces at a time, until all is incorporated. Do not add another piece of butter until the previous one is incorporated. Do not raise the heat. The sauce could break if it gets too hot.

    Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside, covered, to keep warm.

  • Spread the rock salt in a single layer in a shallow baking pan that can fit under the broiler, such as a jelly roll pan. The salt will help the oysters stay level when you broil them.

    Arrange the oysters, still in their bottom shells, on the salt, making sure they remain as level as possible.

    Set a shallot slice over the top of each oyster. Spoon the butter sauce over each oyster.

    Broil the oysters for about 5 minutes, or until the sauce browns and breaks slightly. Remove the oysters from the broiler. Sprinkle with the thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

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