It was my first experince at the underground, deafening, clattery Grand Central Oyster Bar-here,which opened in 1913… with it’s beautifully tiled, domed, lighted ceilings…I chose the pan roast, precisely because I had read about it in a book. And I’ve loved it ever since. First, you need to score some fresh oysters(though you can get them already shucked)…don’t end up with a gash in your palm like someone I know(and if you do, get some antibiotics, pronto). No pain, no gain.
Saute a couple of shallots and a slice of bacon together…smells good already.
Spices(love me some smoked paprika)…and I used a touch of chili sauce(Hey Heinz), like the original recipe calls for…though less than a tablespoon.
OK, here’s the recipe I(kind of) followed…it’s not the classic recipe from Grand Central, which is here…, but I loved the way this one, emailed by Chelsea Wine Market in NYC sounded…maybe more refined? And it was fabulous. Amazing. A revelation. Amanda McDougall by the way, is a food writer who is by her own definition, an obsessive food nerd. That’s good enough for me.
|Oyster Pan Roast
By Amanda McDougall
Makes 6 servingsIngredients:
1 slice thick-cut bacon, chopped
2 large shallots, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (optional)
1 cup dry white wine
1 pint fish stock or clam broth
1 pint cream
30 oysters, shucked and liquor strained and reserved
6 slices pain levain or similar bread, toasted
1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs (blend of parsley, chives, chervil, tarragon) or just parsleyDirections:
Put a Dutch oven or large heavy skillet over medium-low heat.Add the bacon,cook until the fat is rendered; stir in the shallots , stirring often, until tender and translucent. Add the garlic, thyme, bay leaf, paprika, pepper, and Old Bay, if you’re using it, and stir
Pour in the wine and increase the heat to medium. Bring to a boil and cook until the wine no longer smells of alcohol and is reduced by about half in volume. Add the stock, cream, and oyster liquor and bring to a simmer; cook for about 40 minutes until it’s reduced enough to thinly coat the back of a spoon. Season with salt to taste.
Reduce the heat to barely a simmer, add the oysters and cook for 2 minutes or until the edges just start to curl a bit. Put a piece of bread in each bowl and ladle the oysters and the cream sauce over top. Sprinkle generously with herbs and serve immediately.