Grilled or Baked Oysters with Bacon Compound Butter
Posted on November 22 2021,
This crowd-pleasing take on oysters will convert even the pickiest of eaters. This recipe is basically bacon, butter, cheese, and oysters. In other words, you can’t go wrong. The compound butter can be made in advance and will last up to three weeks in the freezer. The oysters can be purchased from our online store or at one of our local popup locations.
Ready in 1 hour Makes enough for 12 oysters
- 5 slices of bacon, chopped
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ head of garlic, minced
- ½ cup finely-chopped fresh Italian parsley
- Lemon zest from half of a lemon
- Juice from 1 lemon or more to taste
- Sea salt and black pepper
- ½ cup finely-grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 dozen fresh oysters, shucked
- Rock salt if baking
- Oyster knife/shucker. Don't have a shucker? We have will elaborate on alternatives to opening oysters later in the recipe.
STEP 1 Cook the bacon in a skillet until crispy, stirring occasionally. Once crispy and cooked-through, transfer the bacon and fat to a small bowl and set aside, leaving about 1 tablespoon bacon fat in the pan.
STEP 2 Add the chopped shallots to the pan with the bacon fat and cook until soft and translucent. Add more bacon fat if needed. Place the cooked bacon and shallots in a large mixing bowl with the butter and garlic. Discard excess bacon fat or save for another use such as breakfast potatoes.
STEP 3 Stir the chopped garlic, parsley, and fresh lemon juice into the large mixing bowl with the butter and bacon. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in ¼ cup of the Parmesan cheese. Stir until well mixed. Position a sheet of parchment paper over a large piece of plastic wrap. Spoon the compound butter onto the paper, and roll into a log. Seal tightly and set in the freezer to firm up for at least 20 minutes.
STEP 4 When you are ready to cook, set your grill to high heat or your oven to 450°F. If baking, spread a thick (1-inch) layer of rock salt on a rimmed baking sheet. This will keep the oysters (and all that delicious flavor in the bottom shell) in place while you transport and cook them. Burrow the shucked oysters on the half shell into the salt and top each with a round or spoonful of compound butter. Top oysters with remaining Parmesan cheese. If grilling you can skip the salt.
STEP 5 If baking, set the sheet in the hot oven and bake for 5-7 minutes or until the butter is melted and bubbling. If grilling, use tongs to set the oysters directly on the grill grates. Cook until the butter bubbles and the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.
OPENING OYSTERS WITHOUT A SHUCKER: Our little secret... it took trial and error. There is nothing worse than having a bushel of oysters and no way of removing the top shell. Simply rest the whole oysters bottom-shell-down on directly on the medium heat gas grill or charcoal grill. Place oysters between the grates to keep them right side up. Once again, there is no need for an oyster knife to remove the top of each oyster. Instead, wait for the delicious juice to begin sizzling out the sides of the shell. The oysters will pop open after about 5 minutes. Remove from grill immediately after the shells open even the slightest bit.
JOIN US ON OUR NO WASTE MISSION: Save your oyster shells! If you're an oyster lover like us, there is several ways to repurpose oyster shells. First, they are wonderful for your garden or backyard soil. The calcium content in the top shell and bottom shell help balance the pH of your soil. Broken oyster shells also serve as a great course, well-draining addition to your garden or indoor plant soil. The best ways to eat oysters is to feel good about utilizing them to their fullest. Once consumed, place the top shell and bottom shell in a large bowl, repurpose the rock salt by pouring the salt over the oyster shells and placing in the refrigerator for a couple days to dry out the left over meat in the shell (if any).