Meauxbar Oyster Pan Roast

“The Meauxbar Oyster Pan Roast is on our winter menu at the restaurant. It’s a great, warm, quick, and easy thing to make. Once you have everything prepared, you throw it together, and it’s a 10-minute affair. We use Louisiana oysters, caramelized fennel, diced shallot, and medium-diced potatoes. Though oysters are great in the winter, I like them best in March and April. They get a little bit smaller, the salinity is perfect, and they’re not too milky.

In the past we’ve served the Oyster Pan Roast over grilled bread that we smear with watercress and bacon compound butter, and then we pour the oyster stew over the top. So you can eat it like a soup or you can eat it as this soggy, messy, rich toast kind of perfectly delicious thing.” -Chef Kristen Essig, Meauxbar, New Orleans

Meauxbar Oyster Pan Roast
Serves 4
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  1. 1 pint shucked oysters, in their liquor
  2. 4 slices bacon
  3. ½ fennel bulb, trimmed, halved, and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  4. 3/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt, divided
  5. 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  6. 1 cup julienned oyster mushroom caps (about 3 ounces)
  7. ¼ cup diced shallot
  8. ½ cup reserved oyster liquor
  9. 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
  10. ½ cup medium-diced Yukon gold potatoes, cooked in salted water until just tender
  11. ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  12. 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  13. 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds
  14. Sliced grilled ciabatta
  1. Using a colander set over a bowl, strain the oysters, reserving juice.
  2. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, add bacon, and cook until crispy. Set aside bacon, and reserve 3 tablespoons rendered bacon fat. Crumble bacon when cool. Reserve skillet.
  3. In a large bowl, combine fennel, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper. In same skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon bacon fat. Add fennel, and cook, stirring, until caramelized. Set aside, and reserve skillet.
  4. In same skillet over medium-high heat, add remaining 2 tablespoons bacon fat. Add mushrooms, and cook until crispy, 3 to 4 minutes; reduce the heat if pan begins to smoke. Add 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate. Return skillet to the burner.
  5. In same skillet over medium heat, add shallot, and cook until tender. If mixture looks dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add oyster liquor, and reduce by half. Add cream, and reduce by half, 6 to 8 minutes. (The cream should just coat the back of a wooden spoon.)
  6. Add potatoes, reserved fennel, bacon, thyme, parsley, fennel fronds, and oysters to the pan. Cook over medium heat until the edges of oysters just begin to curl. Add mushrooms, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Divide sauce between 4 bowls and serve oyster mixture on sliced grilled ciabatta.
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