We’re awash in oysters. They aren’t the ones we’re growing, they’re the ones the town grows, and plants for harvest by recreational shellfish permit holders. We’re recreational shellfish permit holders, and the oysters will be there for the taking for the next few weeks.
The limit is a half-peck per week, which comes to about four dozen oysters. Enough to experiment with. This week’s experiment was smoking.
We looked at a lot of recipes for smoked oysters, but almost all of them started with shucking, so we ruled them out. It seemed silly to go through the trouble of shucking if you’re going to cook the oysters anyway.
We opted for the simplest possible method. Kevin lit a low fire on the grill, and put some wood chips on it, and then covered the pile with a roasting pan he’d cut holes in (that’s our bluefish method). He put the oysters on the grill, cup side down, and covered it.
It took at least half an hour for the oysters to open, at which time we tasted one. It was lovely. Moist, lightly smoky, still oystery. We took the batch off the grill, and put the oysters in a bowl in the fridge.
Then, yesterday, we went up to Blood Farm. Serving as evidence for the your-name-is-your-destiny theory of career choice, Blood Farm is a slaughterhouse, one of the very few USDA facilities in the Northeast. It’s in Groton, about 30 miles outside of Boston, and it handles most of the animals from the small farms in the vicinity.
We make the two-hour trip every few months, and stock up our freezer. Almost all the meat we eat comes from Blood Farm.
Yesterday, we got lots of chicken, some lamb, some stewing beef, and even a little ground goat (for curry). And we got our Blood Farm treat. Beef tenderloin. The only time we have it in this house is on the day we make the trip. We get two little filet steaks, and Kevin grills them over a hot fire.
Since nothing complements saturated fat like more saturated fat, how about a smoked oyster cream sauce?
I sautéed a chopped shallot in butter, and added fresh sage. A few tablespoons of vermouth, and the oyster liquor went in, and cooked down to almost nothing. Then about a half-cup of cream, and eight smoked oysters. Into the blender, whirred until smooth. Back into the pan to warm, with a little more sage for color. Salt. Done.
Sucks to be us, eh?