Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Barfer Robinson's Oyster Stew -- recipe

Since oysters are in season, I thought I'd offer a recipe given me by one of my characters, Barfer Robinson, the cook aboard the dredge boat, Hope V. Rogers. Barfer appears in several of the short stories in The Drowned Land (Maryland Governor's Award Winner) and in my first novel, Killraven.

Barfer Robinson’s* Stewed Oysters

4 (or five) strips of bacon
1 medium sized onion, (diced)
1 quart fresh cream (half and half, or milk for the faint-hearted)
1 quart fresh-shucked oysters with their own liquor
Salt and pepper to taste

In a deep iron skillet, or a Dutch oven, fry up three or four strips of bacon. Let them get crispy and then take ‘em out. Put ‘em in a bowl and after they cool a bit, crumple them up for later.

Brown up your (diced) onion in the bacon grease. Fish out the oysters with a spoon and put them in a bowl, then strain the liquor, because you know them worthless boys is bound to get some shell in there. Then add the oysters with their own strained liquor and cover the pot. Push it on the back of the cook stove (low heat). Let it simmer until the oysters start to crimp up (edges pucker).

Add your cream and stir it in a little at a time, and then let it come to a simmer again, but don’t let it get too hot or the cream will scorch. Then she’s ready to dish up. I like to sprinkle a little bit of that crumpled bacon on top of each bowl. It’s mighty good with oyster crackers, or saltines – you got to allow for the extra salt if you’re going to use saltines, though. You might have to do two pots on a cold, windy day, cause a six man crew can go through a lot of grub

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