How to cook seafood on the barbecue

We’ve seen how fish cooked on a barbecue can make a great addition to your summer gatherings, whether it’s for a convivial lunch or an al fresco dinner. But you can also cook a variety of seafood on the barbecue, such as oysters, prawns, mussels or scallops.

Cooking oysters on the barbecue

Yes, that’s right. Oysters are delicious raw but you can also enjoy them cooked.

If necessary, start by scrubbing the oyster shells with a soft bristled brush in cold water. Place the oysters on the grill, flat side up, and leave them for 8-10 minutes or until the shells start to pop open. Carefully remove all oysters from the grill, even the ones that haven’t opened, using a fireproof mitt or tongs.

Completely shuck all oysters and add any sauce you’d like (a squeeze of lemon juice works wonders).

Cooking prawns on the barbecue

Cooking prawns on the barbecue is quick and easy. Just make sure your barbecue is very hot so you can quickly brown the prawns without overcooking them.

If you purchased whole prawns, start by removing the shells and de-veining them. Lightly season the prawns and brush them with a little oil before placing them on a skewer. Put the skewers on the hottest part of the grill and leave until the prawns have coloured. Turn them over and cook for a couple more minutes. Remove from the heat, let the prawns cool a little then serve.

Cooking mussels on the barbecue

If necessary, start by cleaning the mussels with a brush and some cold water. Place your mussels in a roasting tray with a matching lid (you can use tinfoil so long as you make sure to close the parcel tightly so that no steam can escape). Season the mussels and drizzle with a little oil before placing them on the barbecue for 8-10 minutes. The mussels will be ready to eat when most of them have opened. Discard any mussels that didn’t open before serving.

Cooking scallops on the barbecue

A great way to cook scallops on the barbecue is to skewer them with vegetables or even prawns.

Start by marinating your scallops in an oil-based marinade for 10-15 minutes. You can use your favourite herbs and spices such as garlic, paprika or basil. Place the scallops on skewers with any other ingredients of your choice or on their own. Remember that if you’re using wooden skewers, you need to soak them in water for an hour before cooking. Place the scallops skewers on your barbecue and cook for 8 minutes, turning halfway through. You can brush the scallops with more marinade while cooking.

Oyster Stuffing for Turkey

There are plenty of ways to add more fish & seafood to your Christmas dinner, even if Turkey is your choice of main course this year! This delicious oyster stuffing recipe will be a nice addition to a roast turkey. You can cook the stuffing separately or inside the turkey (see our tips at the end).

stuffed turkey

Oyster Stuffing for Turkey
This recipe makes about 10 cups of stuffing.
  • ¾ cup butter (or margarine)
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup celery, finely chopped, with leaves
  • 2¼ cups oysters, drained and chopped (reserve the juice if desired)
  • 1 tbsp. poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • 10 to 12 cups soft bread crumbs
  • ½ to 1 cup low sodium chicken broth (or stock or part oyster liquid)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add onion and celery. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes; add the oysters, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, and parsley and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

  2. Add the bread and ½ cup of chicken broth; stir to blend ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings.

  3. Add beaten eggs and mix well, adding more chicken broth to moisten, if necessary.

  4. To stuff a turkey, fill the cavity loosely with the stuffing mixture. Before taking the turkey from the oven, make sure the centre of the stuffing has reached the minimum safe temperature of 74 C. The turkey might be done, but if there is stuffing in the bird, it should also be checked.

  5. To cook the stuffing separately, heat the oven to 180 C. Spray a shallow baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or butter it lightly. Pack the stuffing mixture in the baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 25 to 30 minutes longer, or until the stuffing registers at least 71.1 C.

 oyster stuffing

Stuffing tips:

  • When stuffing a turkey, stuff it loosely, allowing about 3/4 cup per pound of poultry. 9 to 10 cups should be enough for a 12- to 14-pound turkey.
  • As soon as the stuffing is prepared and moistened, stuff the bird. Don’t cool the stuffing first. Roast the raw, stuffed turkey immediately.
  • Never cook a stuffed turkey at an oven temperature below 165 C.
  • Do not remove the stuffing from the turkey before it has reached the minimum safe temperature of 74 C.
  • Let the roasted turkey rest for 20 minutes before removing the stuffing and carving.
  • Refrigerate leftovers (stuffing, turkey, etc.) within 2 hours after cooking.
  • Store leftovers in shallow containers in the refrigerator, and use within 3 to 4 days.
  • Reheat leftovers to the safe minimum temperature of 74 C.

How to cook Seafood on the BBQ

We’ve seen how fish cooked on a BBQ can make a great addition to your summer gatherings, whether it’s for a convivial lunch or a fantastic al fresco dinner! But you can also cook a variety of seafood on the BBQ, such as oysters, prawns, mussels or scallops!

Cooking Oysters on the BBQ

Yes, that’s right! Oysters are not only delicious raw but you can enjoy them cooked!

If necessary, start by scrubbing the oyster shells with a soft bristled brush and cold water. Place oysters on the grill, flat side up and leave for about 8-10 minutes or until shell start to pop open. Carefully remove all oysters from the grill, even the ones that haven’t opened, using a fireproof mitt or tongs.

Completely shuck all oysters and add any sauce you’d like to your oysters. A simple squeeze of lemon juice can do wonders!

Cooking Prawns on the BBQ

Cooking prawns on the BBQ is very quick and easy! Just make sure that your barbecue is very hot so you can quickly brown the prawns without overcooking the meat.

If you purchased whole prawns, start by removing the shells and deveining them. Lightly season and brush with a little oil before placing on a skewer. Place on the hottest part of your BBQ and leave until coloured. Turn over and let it cook for a couple more minutes. Remove from heat and wait for a couple of minutes before serving!

Cooking mussels on the BBQ

If necessary, start by cleaning the mussels with a brush and some cold water. Place your mussels in a roasting tray with a matching lid. If you don’t have any, you can use foil but make sure to close it tightly so that no steam can escape. Season your mussels and drizzle with a bit of oil before placing on the barbecue for 8-10 minutes. Mussels should be ready when most of them have opened. Discard any mussels that did not open before serving.

Cooking scallops on the BBQ

A great way to cook scallops on the BBQ is to skewer them with veggies or even prawns!

Start by marinating your scallops in an oil-based marinade for 10 to 15 minutes. You can use your favourite spices and herbs such as garlic, paprika, or basil. Place the scallops on skewers with any other ingredients of your choice or on their own. Remember that if you’re using wooden skewers, you need to soak them in water for an hour before cooking. Place the scallops skewers on your BBQ and cook for 8 minutes, turning half-way through. You can brush the scallops with more marinade while cooking.

Classic Irish Seafood Recipes

Irish Seafood Coddle

A traditional Dublin Coddle uses sausage and bacon but this version is full of tasty seafood. You can choose any fish and seafood you like, it’s really up to your personal preference! You can serve it with rice or potatoes on the side.

Irish Seafood Coddle
Serves: 4
  • 900ml vegetable or fish stock
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped small
  • 1 stick celery, chopped small
  • 480g mixed fish/seafood such as prawns, salmon, white fish, crabmeat, cooked mussels, shucked oysters – all or any combination of these
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fennel or parsley finely chopped
  1. Bring the stock to the boil.

  2. Add scallions, carrots and celery and simmer for 20 minutes.

  3. Add fish/seafood of your choice and simmer for another five minutes.

  4. Taste and season if necessary.

  5. Serve in deep plates or bowls, with generous sprinklings of fennel or parsley.

Irish Fish Cakes & Tartar Sauce

These fish cakes are great made with fresh fish but they also are good to make if you have leftover fish to use! You can play around with the ratio of fish and potatoes, depending on how you prefer your fish cakes!

Irish Fish Cakes and Tartar Sauce
Serves: 4-6
  • For the fish cakes
  • 1 lb russet potatoes
  • 1 lb cod fillet
  • 1 Tbsp spicy ketchup or chilli sauce
  • a handful of minced fresh parsley
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • ½ tsp each salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, finely crushed (use a small food processor or a rolling pin)
  • several Tbsp vegetable oil for frying
  • sliced green onion, to garnish
  • chopped parsley, to garnish
  • tartar sauce
  • 1 pasteurised egg, at room temperature
  • 1 cup vegetable oil, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp grainy Dijon mustard
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tsp capers
  • about ½ cup dill pickles, chopped
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste
  1. Peel and chop the potatoes into large chunks. Put them in a saucepan, cover with cold water, add 2 teaspoons of salt, and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are very soft.

  2. Put the cod in a shallow saute pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, and then cover, turn off the heat, and let the fish poach for about 10-15 minutes. Drain.

  3. Drain the potatoes and put them into a large mixing bowl. Use the back of a fork to mash them, leaving a little bit of texture.

  4. Add the ketchup, parsley, lemon juice, beaten eggs, and salt and pepper. Stir briefly to combine, and then add the fish, breaking it apart with your fingers as you add it. I like the fish to remain fairly chunky, so don't break it apart too much. Fold the fish into the mixture until everything is evenly incorporated. It will be fairly wet.

  5. I use a ⅓ cup measure to scoop out the mixture and form into patties. Flour your hands if necessary.

  6. Roll each patty in the Ritz cracker crumbs, to coat all surfaces and set on a platter. You can cover and refrigerate the cakes at this point for later cooking if you like.

  7. Coat the bottom of a skillet with vegetable oil and heat over medium heat until hot. Fry the cakes for about 5 minutes on each side until golden, crispy, and hot throughout. Note: the cakes will be very delicate, move and flip them with extra care.

  8. Serve immediately on top of a bed of greens. I like to mix the greens with a few chopped ripe tomatoes and some thinly sliced red onion. You can add a little oil and vinegar to the salad if you like before adding the cakes.

  9. Serve lots of fresh tartar sauce and lemon wedges on the side.

  10. To make the tartar sauce: Put all the ingredients into a jar that fits the head of your blender.

  11. Set the head of the blender down at the bottom of the jar, and turn it on. Blend for a few seconds and as the sauce starts to thicken, gently raise the blender up to blend all of the contents. This will only take a few seconds. you can pulse the blender a few times to continue to thicken the tartar sauce.

  12. Remove the blender, give the sauce a stir, and taste to adjust the seasoning. Screw the cap on the jar and keep refrigerated until needed. Use within a week to 10 days.

Dublin Lawyer With Rice

This delicious seafood consists of lobster meat flavoured with whisky and cream. If you’re starting with live lobster, check out our guide on how to prepare lobster. If you’re not keen on using lobster, you can always use prawns!

Dublin Lawyer With Rice
Serves: 4
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 500g lobster or prawn (peeled and deveined)
  • ½ cup Irish Whisky
  • 1 cup heavy cream or 1 cup of coconut cream
  • Chopped chives
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  1. Start by cooking the rice.

  2. Cut the lobster meat in big chunks (or prawns if you are using them).

  3. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.

  4. Add lobster meat (or prawns) to the butter and season with salt, pepper, cayenne and paprika.Cooking should take around 3-4 minutes depending on the size of your seafood.

  5. Remove seafood from pan and reserve on a plate.

  6. Gently add whisky to the pan.

  7. Using a lighter catch whisky on fire. Wait until the fire goes out and alcohol is burned off. This should take just a few minutes.

  8. Add cream and simmer for 3-5 minutes or until starts to thicken.

  9. Add seafood back into the saucepan and toss to coat.

  10. Spoon rice in bowl and top with a spoonful of seafood. Top with a sprinkling of diced chives



Great Oysters Recipes

Oysters are a fantastic food on their own. Their sweet and briny flavour can be enjoyed without complement. That being said, there are many ways of enhancing and complementing oysters, whether you prefer them raw or cooked. Here is a selection of some of our current favourite recipes.

Broiled Oysters


Broiled Oysters
For this recipe, oysters just need a few minutes in the oven. Serve with crusty bread to soak up the sauce. Yum!
Serves: 4
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh oregano
  • ⅛ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
  • 2 dozen shucked fresh oysters
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  1. Preheat broiler. Stir herbs, red-pepper flakes, oil, and vinegar in a large bowl. Add oysters, and toss to coat.

  2. Transfer oyster mixture to a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle Parmesan over oysters, and season with pepper.

  3. Drizzle with oil. Broil until golden brown and bubbling, about 2 minutes. Serve.

 Oyster Fritters


Oyster Fritters
The batter should be light and airy, nicely crispy while the oysters should remain tender inside. The beer in the batter adds flavours and allows the batter to stay light when fried.
Serves: 4
  • 3⁄4 cup flour
  • Salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3⁄4 cup beer
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1⁄4 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • Peanut oil
  • 2 dozen oysters, shucked, oyster juices reserved
  1. Mix flour and a pinch of salt together in a medium mixing bowl and set aside. Put egg into another medium bowl and lightly whisk, then add beer, olive oil, and lemon zest and whisk until well combined. Add egg–beer mixture to flour and whisk until batter is smooth. Cover and set aside at room temperature to let rest for 1 hour.

  2. Pour peanut oil into a medium heavy-bottomed pot to a depth of 2" and heat over medium heat until temperature reaches 370° on a candy thermometer. Meanwhile, rinse oysters in cold water, put them into another medium pot, and add enough of the reserved oyster juices that they reach about halfway up oysters, adding a little water if necessary. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook just until oysters contract and plump up, about 3 minutes. Drain oysters.

  3. Give the batter a quick stir. Working in 2 batches, use your fingers to dip one oyster at a time into batter, then carefully drop oyster into the hot oil. Fry oysters, gently stirring and turning them with a slotted spoon occasionally, until batter is crisp and golden, 1:30–2 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to let drain. Season to taste with salt while still hot.

  4. Serve oysters in clean, dry oyster shells with a squeeze of fresh lemon, if you like. Serve immediately.

 Raw Oysters with Red Mignonette


Great Oysters Recipes
If you love raw oysters, you know that the possibilities are endless. From a simple squeeze of lemon to a more sophisticated sauce, oysters can be accompanied by various combinations of flavours. This twist on a classic mignonette will bring colour to the dish as well as taste!
Serves: 4
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons the very best extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, minced
  • ½ teaspoon finely crushed white pepper
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 pinch excellent sea salt
  • 24 oysters, freshly shucked on the half shell
  1. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, olive oil, shallots, white and red pepper and salt and whisk to blend.

  2. Spoon atop oysters or serve alongside.

  3. Please remember to wait to shuck the oysters until just before serving to keep them as fresh as the sea as possible.

Christmas appetiser recipes

Appetisers are a great way to kick-off a meal with loved ones or engage conversation with your neighbours. It is a key moment of dinner parties in France and we thought it would be a great addition to any Christmas menu. So today we are sharing some of our favourite recipes for festive appetisers.

Oysters with Festive Mignonette


Oysters with festive Mignonette
A festive favourite, oysters always add a little something to meals. This twist on a classic mignonette is super easy to make and will make a great impression on your guests.
  • 1 tablespoon pink peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon green peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed, lightly toasted
  • ½ cup red-wine vinegar
  • ½ cup champagne vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 dozen fresh oysters
  1. In a small bowl, combine peppercorns, fennel seed, vinegars, and salt.

  2. Shuck oysters just before serving; arrange on a bed of crushed ice.

  3. Drizzle with mignonette, or serve on the side. Serve immediately.

Crab Puffs

Crab Puffs

Crab Puffs
These crab puffs are not too tricky to make and are rich and indulgent.
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup minced shallot (from 2 shallots)
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • 115g lump crabmeat
  • ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley plus ¼ cup whole leaves, for garnish
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2 tablespoons large brine-packed capers, rinsed and dried, for garnish
  1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots, and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add flour, and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Add milk in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and cook, whisking often until mixture has thickened for about 3 minutes.

  2. Add crabmeat, Parmesan, minced parsley, lemon zest, and a pinch of cayenne. Remove from heat, and stir until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet, and let cool completely. (Cooled mixture can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day.)

  3. Set a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Whisk eggs in a shallow dish. Place breadcrumbs in another shallow dish. Shape cooled crabmeat mixture into 1-inch balls. Working with 1 ball at a time, coat in beaten egg, then in breadcrumbs. Transfer to rack. Repeat with remaining balls. Let stand, uncovered, at room temperature for 30 minutes.

  4. Heat 4 inches of oil in a large, heavy pot until it reaches 190 degrees C. Working in batches, fry crab balls, turning once, until golden brown, 1½ to 2 minutes. (Adjust heat as necessary to keep oil at a steady temperature.) Using a wire-mesh skimmer, transfer crab puffs to paper towels to drain, and immediately season with salt.

  5. Reduce heat until oil reaches 176 degrees C. Fry capers for 1 minute, and using a wire-mesh skimmer, transfer to paper towels to drain. Fry parsley leaves for 1 minute and using a wire-mesh skimmer, transfer to paper towels to drain. (The capers and parsley may cause the hot oil to spatter when added to the pot.) Sprinkle puffs with capers and parsley. Serve warm.

Sesame Salmon Croquettes


Sesame salmon croquettes
Ginger gives these nibbles a nice punch of flavour. If you cannot find fresh ginger you can substitute it for ground ginger.
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 500g salmon fillets
  • 2 & ½ cups panko breadcrumbs, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons loosely packed lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 jar toasted sesame seeds (about 50g)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • Ginger Rémoulade
  1. Cut lemon in half. Squeeze juice from the lemon into a saucepan. Add lemon halves, 2 Tbsp. salt and 6 cups water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add salmon fillet (cut into 2 pieces, if necessary); cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer 4 minutes. (Center of salmon will be raw.) Carefully transfer salmon to a large bowl, and cool completely (about 10 minutes). Remove and discard skin if necessary, and flake salmon.

  2. Preheat oven to 220°C. Stir ½ cup panko and next 11 ingredients into flaked salmon.

  3. Stir together melted butter and remaining 2 cups panko. Spoon 1 tsp. panko mixture into each cup of a lightly greased 24-cup miniature muffin pan. Add 1 Tbsp. of the salmon mixture to each muffin cup. Top each with 1 tsp. panko mixture.

  4. Bake, in batches, at 220°C for 10 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Serve warm with Ginger Rémoulade.

Looking for more festive inspiration? Check out our roundup of Christmas Starter Recipes!

How to shuck oysters without a shucking knife

Food lovers will know that in the kitchen, tools and accessories can quickly pile up. There just seems to be a tool for each food item: egg slicer, apple corer… A shucking knife is one of those tools rarely found in homes. Most seafood lovers don’t own one.

Maybe you have not invested in a shucking knife yet, or you simply cannot find it at the moment when you need it (only to find it 2 months later!).

We think that everyone should be able to enjoy fresh oysters at home, no matter your cooking gear. Oysters are one of the water’s greatest treats and opening them at home can be very satisfying. It is also considerably less expensive than going to the restaurant and the possibilities for sauces are endless.

Fresh Oysters

So today we show you how to shuck oysters at home, without a shucking knife.

You will need:

  • a tea towel
  • a flat-head screwdriver
  • a knife (optional)

How to open an oyster with a screwdriver:

  1. Put the oyster on a thick tea towel and cover your hand with it. This will help prevent any injuries should the screwdriver slip.
  2. Find the hole in the hinge and insert the tip of the flat-head screwdriver.
  3. Start twisting and wiggling the screwdriver. Do it firmly but not too forcefully so you don’t end up breaking the shell.
  4. Once the oyster open, use the screwdriver or a knife to cut the muscle holding the shell closed.
  5. You can now fully open the oyster. Run a screwdriver or a knife under the meat to separate it from the shell.
  6. Enjoy with a mignonette sauce, a hint of lemon juice or any kind of sauce!

If you want to see this method in action, watch this clip from New York chef Shane Lyons who demonstrates how to shuck an oyster with a screwdriver.


How to prepare and eat oysters


A while ago, we shared a delicious recipe for cooked oysters. However, if you are more traditional you can still enjoy your oysters raw! Here we share a short guide on how to prepare and eat your oysters, with a recipe for a mignonette sauce as a bonus.

Oysters should be tightly closed and heavy in hand. Rinse in cold water before preparing.

To open oysters, you will need an oyster knife, which is short, thick and quite blunt. Using a normal kitchen knife can be risky as the knife can break or slip and you might cut yourself. If you do not have an oyster knife, use a strong, short and blunt knife, or try using a screwdriver.

Use a folded or thick tea towel to hold oysters, this will enable you to get a better grip and protect your hand from any cuts. Always keep oysters curved-side down while storing, preparing and serving.

Hold the oyster on a chopping board, hinge facing towards you and poke the knife tip into the hole located in the hinge. Twist the knife and/or move from side to side to prise the hinge open.

Throw away the top shell and serve the oysters in the bottom shell. If there is some seawater in the oyster it is best to leave it there.

You can simply serve with a squeeze of lemon juice or with a mignonette sauce (find the recipe below).

Mignonette Sauce
  • ½ cup minced shallots
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup clear, unseasoned rice vinegar
  • ⅛ teaspoon of sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon of salt
  • 1¼ teaspoon of finely crushed white peppercorns
  1. Peel and coarsely chop the shallots. Put them into a food processor and pulse a few times, until the shallots are finely minced, but not mush, with pieces no smaller than the tip of a match. You can also finely mince by hand if you wish.

  2. Place the minced shallots and any liquid released from them in a glass bowl. Add the white vinegar, rice vinegar, and sugar and salt. Stir with a fork. Add the freshly crushed white pepper. Stir again with a fork.

  3. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of four hours. For best results, store for at least 2 days before using. The mignonette flavour will be better blended the longer it sits. You may notice that the crushed white peppercorns may sink to the bottom of the bowl as the mignonette rests. If you see this, just give it a little stir.

  4. The mignonette will last up to a month in the refrigerator.


Nigel Slater’s cooked oyster & pork recipe

Pork, fennel and oyster casserole
Oysters are usually best served raw, but if you’re going to cook them, do it with smoked bacon, pork shoulder or pancetta – it’s one of the happiest culinary marriages.

Nigel Slater's interesting take on oysters will bring new and exciting ideas in your kitchen. This little casserole, marrying two good friends, brings out the best in the ingredients.
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4
  • 2 onions
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 fennel head
  • 400g pork shoulder or leg, cubed
  • 1L chicken stock
  • 300g new potatoes
  • A handful of parsley
  • 200g crème fraîche
  • 8-12 fresh oysters
  1. Peel the onions then cut them into quarters. Warm half of the olive oil in a heavy-based, high-sided casserole over a moderate heat, then add the onions. Peel the garlic and slice each clove finely, then stir into the onions and leave to cook for a good 15 minutes till soft and translucent. Stir regularly, and try not to let the onion brown.

  2. Halve the head of fennel lengthways and slice thinly, stir into the onions and leave to cook for 5 minutes. In a shallow-sided pan, warm the remaining oil, then add the cubed pork and lightly brown on all sides. Remove the meat from the pan and add to the onions. Remove any excess fat from the pan, pour in half of the stock and bring to the boil. Stir to dissolve any tasty sediment into the stock, then pour into the pork and onions, together with the remaining stock and bring to the boil.

  3. Lower the heat, season with salt and leave to simmer, partially covered with a lid, giving it the occasional stir to make sure it doesn’t stick, for an hour. Halfway through the cooking time, scrub the new potatoes, cut them in half then add to the simmering pork and onions. Chop the parsley.

  4. When the potatoes and pork are tender, stir in the crème fraîche and chopped parsley, season generously with coarsely ground black pepper and continue simmering for 5 minutes. There should plenty of creamy cooking liquor in the pan.

  5. Open the oysters, check them scrupulously for grit then add them to the casserole. Serve immediately, in bowls or deep plates, ladling the cooking liquor over as you go. Provide plenty of bread and spoons.