As much as we love fresh, raw oysters with little adornment, we’ll often double up on our order at the fishmonger and save half for roasting. We’ll load up a Field Skillet with rock salt or small pebbles, fill it with shucked bivalves and top each with a slice of a nutty-spicy compound brown butter, a preparation we borrowed years ago from the southern chef Vivian Howard.
Any size Field Skillet will work with this recipe, depending on how many oysters you want to roast. A No.8 skillet will hold about a dozen, and a No.10 will hold a few more; and a No. 12 can handle up to 2 dozen.
Need a quick shucking refresher? Here’s one from America’s Test Kitchen (note how they use a kitchen towel to prevent trips to the ER).
Skillet-Roasted Oysters with Hot Brown Butter
½ stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 medium garlic clove, finely grated
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1½ teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
Tabasco (or other hot sauce)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Rock salt or small pebbles
1 dozen oysters
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Make the hot brown butter: In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Continue cooking the butter, swirling the pan frequently, until it begins to brown and smell nutty, 5 to 7 minutes. Pour the butter into a heat-proof bowl and add the garlic and shallot. Let the butter cool for a few minutes, then stir in the lemon juice and zest. Season to taste with hot sauce, salt and pepper. Transfer the bowl to the freezer and chill until the butter is solidified, but still soft (if you over-chill the butter, remove it from the freezer and let warm at room temperature until softened). Transfer the butter to a sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper, and roll up to form a log. Freeze until solidified.
Preheat the broiler. Fill a cast iron skillet with about ½ inch of rock salt or pebbles. Shuck the oysters, leaving them on the half shell and nestling them in the skillet as you go. When all of the oysters have been shucked, top each with a slice of the hot brown butter. Transfer to the oven and roast until the butter is bubbling, 4 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle the oysters with parsley and serve.