The Inn at Pirates Cove
Pirates Cove Oyster Pan Roast
When it comes to traditional Chesapeake cuisine, oyster stew may be one of the earliest dishes documented. Its simplicity is at variance with its flavor and popularity. At the Cove, we have periodically taken it off the menu, only to promptly reinstate it after howls of dismay. The stew is quick and simple to produce, but it must be made one bowl at a time. The Cove’s oyster pan roast is very similar to the stew and differs only in thickness. We reduce the cream more than usual to make it a heartier dish.
We start with fresh oysters, usually four to six per bowl depending on size. We then sauté them in a hot pan with just enough butter that they swim freely in the pan. Once the oysters are beginning to ripple along their edges, we toss in a dab of cocktail sauce, Tabasco sauce and Worcestershire sauce and continue to sauté a few more minutes.
Once the sauces are thoroughly mixed and the oysters are generously coated, we add about a cup of heavy cream. Yes, thick, fattening, artery-clogging heavy cream. Nothing else will do. We then bring it to a boil, turn the heat down to simmer and reduce the cream by half so you end up with a thick, slightly pink, creamy stew. Be sure to keep stirring so the cream doesn’t burn.
Finally, we top the pan roast with toast tips for dipping and a quick sprinkle of parsley. As a side or a meal, the oyster pan roast is a creamy serving of Chesapeake history.
Best enjoyed on a cold winter day surrounded by the warmth of friends and family.