Grilled or Baked Oysters with Bacon Compound Butter

Pull out a tray of sizzling baked or grilled oysters at your next (distanced) gathering, and watch them disappear in an instant. Might as well make a double batch of the compound butter as it can easily be made ahead and frozen.

Ready in 1 hour Makes enough for 12 oysters 

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 5 slices of bacon, finely chopped 
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • ½ head of garlic, peeled and chopped 
  • ½ cup parsley, including stems, finely chopped
  • Juice from 1 lemon or more to taste 
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • ½ cup finely-grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 dozen fresh oysters, shucked 
  • Rock or pickling salt if baking 

1 Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Heat the bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook until crispy, stirring occasionally and watching closely. Once cooked, pour the bacon and fat into a small bowl and set aside, leaving about 1 tablespoon fat in the pan.

2 Add the shallots and cook until soft and fragrant, adding more bacon fat if needed. Place the cooked bacon and shallots in the bowl with the butter, discarding the excess fat or reserving for another use (like breakfast potatoes). 

3 Stir in the chopped garlic, parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. Stir until mixture is thoroughly combined. Arrange saran wrap on top of parchment paper and place the compound butter on the wrap. Roll into a log and seal tightly. Set in the fridge or freezer to firm up for about 20 minutes. 

4 Before cooking, set your grill to high heat or your oven to 450°F. If baking, spread a thick layer of rock or pickling salt on a rimmed baking sheet; this will keep the oysters from falling over in the oven. Nuzzle the shucked oysters into the salt and top each with a medallion or spoonful of compound butter. If grilling, simply prep the oysters on a baking sheet without the salt. Top oysters with remaining Parmesan cheese. 

If baking, set the sheet directly into the oven and bake for 5-7 minutes or until oysters are bubbling and the cheese is melted. You’ll know when they’re done. If grilling, use tongs to place oysters directly on the grill and cook until the butter bubbles and the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

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