Bivalve Pan Roast…An Oyster Revelation

Who wouldn't love sitting at this counter?

(First, play the video above to get the feel and sound of the Grand Central Oyster Bar…let it play as you read the rest)Ok,  this classic dish is really called Oyster Pan Roast...some call it New York’s most famous dish….and some would argue, it’s finest. It’s simple really…good oysters, chili sauce and a bucket of cream.

So Central Oyster Bar...

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.

Ok, I ate a few on the half shell while I cooked....

Saute a couple of shallots and a slice of bacon together…smells good already.

Anything that begins with bacon is alright with me...

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.

Pimenton makes almost anything better...

Almost ready for the cream....loved the jar it came it!

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
Sea salt
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

until mixed.

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.


One Response

  1. Hi Donna! Thanks for posting this recipe–it looks fabulous the way you’ve done it. Our store is called Chelsea Wine Vault, not Chelsea Wine Market. Would you mind correcting that, and linking to our original recipe here:

    Thank you so much!

    Moriah from Chelsea Wine Vault

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