Oyster Stew

Serves 4-6


  • 1 stick butter, cubed
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 4 cups light cream
  • 3 cups milk
  • 6-8 slices bacon, cut in ½” pieces (raw bacon is not easy to cut - Chef Steve's tip: lay bacon slices out separately on a plate and place in freezer for about 15 minutes - this will result in a nice clean and even cut!)
  • ½ cup shallots, chopped
  • 1½ tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 lb fresh oysters with their liquor (juice)
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp sea salt (if needed)

Garnish & Serving Suggestions

  • fried leeks
  • oyster crackers
  • Tabasco sauce


Prepare Cream Base

  1. In a medium saucepan over low heat, slowly melt butter, whisking often so it will not burn
  2. Whisk in flour slowly to prevent clumps. Cook mixture 1 minute, but don't allow it to gain color
  3. Slowly whisk in light cream and milk. Allow to simmer and thicken over medium heat, 15-20 minutes, stirring every 2-3 minutes to keep a smooth consistency

Cook Bacon, Shallots, Garlic & Oysters

  1. While sauce is cooking, in a separate medium saucepan over medium heat, add bacon pieces and allow to cook and render, about 7-10 minutes or until brown
  2. Add shallots and stir until translucent, about 3 minutes
  3. Add garlic and saute 2 minutes
  4. Add oysters with their liquor (juice) and stir until the edges of the oysters start to curl, 2-4 minutes

Add Cream Base & Spices

  1. When milk mixture has reached its desired consistency (thick enough to coat the back of a spoon), whisk into the saucepan of aromatics and oysters
  2. Season with cayenne pepper.  Reduce heat to low, and allow all elements to simmer and combine flavors, about 15 minutes
  3. Season with ¼ tsp black pepper and mix well
  4. Taste and, only if needed, add ¼ tsp sea salt.  Do this last, as the oysters will have a natural saltiness, and you don’t want to risk over salting
  5. Let simmer 10 more minutes and it's ready to serve