A dish of warm tender oysters nestling on a bed of smoky bacon and shredded Savoy cabbage and served with champagne sauce is an extravagance well worth savouring.
You will need
Preparation time: 40 minutes (including opening the oysters)
Cooking time: 30 minutes
For the oysters:
- 10 Rock oysters, opened and all juices saved
- 55g (2oz) butter
- 4 shallots or 1 onion, finely sliced
- 4 rashers of smoked streaky bacon, very finely diced
- 225g (8oz) finely shredded Savoy cabbage
For the sauce:
- 1 glass of champagne
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- Pinch of caster sugar
- 2-3 tbsp double cream
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- 1-2 drops Tabasco sauce
- 25g (1oz) butter
- Salt and pepper
To start :
1 Once all the shells are opened, remove the oysters and put them in the fridge. Wash the shells and save them for serving later.
Side note: its easier to steam oysters open. Scrub the shells and wedge them into the top half of the steamer. Sit them over boiling water, cover for about 1 – 2 minutes until the shell starts to part
2 Heat 25g (1oz) butter in a frying pan, add the shallots and sauté for 3-4 minutes until tender and beginning to caramelize. Season and the remove from the pan.
3 Fry the bacon for 4-5 minutes until crisp, then add to the shallots.
4 Blanch the cabbage in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain thoroughly.
5 Melt the remaining butter in a pan and fry the cabbage for 4-5 minutes to give it a golden tinge. Mix together with the shallots and bacon and season.
For the sauce:
1 Boil the champagne with the vinegar and sugar until reduced by three-quarters.
2 Add the oyster juice and cream and bring the sauce to a simmer.
3 Stir in the lemon juice and Tabasco, then whisk in the butter. Season. The sauce is now ready.
1 In a clean frying pan, warm the oysters in a little butter and season
2 Device the cabbage and bacon mixture between the cupped halves of the shells, sit the warm oysters on top and spoon some sauce over. Serve at once.