Hi and welcome back to the food & wine blog.
The best months for oysters are any month with the letter “r” in its name! Here at the Old Course Hotel we serve oysters in our famous Sands Grill seafood platter and this year they feature on our Christmas Menu in the Road Hole Restaurant. There are three kinds of edible oysters: Rock, Pacific and Native. They can all be found in Scotland but are not all native to our country.
The Pacific oyster is from Japan and can be found in the warmer waters of the Pacific, in recent years it has also been introduce to North America, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
The season for Native oyster officially starts on the 1st of September. They are left all summer to reproduce then as we approach winter and the waters cool the mussels begin to harden, so the colder the water the better the oyster! These oysters tend to be a bit meatier than the Rock or Pacific and have a great flavor and that’s exactly why I prefer to use them in the Road Hole Restaurant, they are more expensive but definitely worth it.
Rock oyster grow well throughout the year and are much easier to source. These are the oysters that we serve on our seafood platter in the Sands Grill. If we find that the Rock oysters become difficult to get in the colder months then we will switch to the Pacific oyster to ensure that we have consistent quality.
Here is a classic, simple dish from the Sands Grill, if you have a good quality oyster then there is no need to play around with them.
Dozen fresh opened oysters
5ml of oil
For the red wine vinegar
50ml red wine
juice of a fresh lemon
Crushed ice to serve
Dice the shallots very fine and sweat off in the oil making sure the shallots are clear. Add the vinegar, red wine, water and sugar then simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice then allow to cool.
On a large plate place the ice and arrange the oysters on top. Serve the red wine shallots on the side and add as you require to your taste.
I’ve also added a video on to YouTube of my Sous Chef and I demonstrating how to open and prepare oysters. They really are so easy to prepare, they will definitely impress at your next dinner party! If you would like any advice on how to choose or prepare oysters then please do get in touch.