In anticipation of this year's Piglet, we'll be sharing articles, recipes, and tips from past winners. Following Good to the Grain is The Art of Living According to Joe Beef. Learn more about this year's tournament here, or head to Provisions to add some of the titles to your bookshelf!
Today: Frédéric Morin, David McMillan, and Meredith Erickson share Joe Beef's first recipe of the week, with an ingredient that might surprise you.
When we started Joe Beef, the town was suffering from a weird vibe, a kind of up-the-ante feeling with regard to food: People went out to eat like college kids drink beer. If someone was doing testicles, you could count on someone else to pair them with pizza. Feet were kept on chickens, and heads and eyeballs were served as sides. There was no end in sight, much less vegetables.
To put a damper on the frenzied quest for more, we thought that maybe the next ingredient should be inedible: not gold shavings, but what about an old radio? Doesn’t “oysters on the radio” sound good? When we ran out of radios, we used bags of sugar, erotic novels, or old album covers.
The oysters themselves are simple: plump specimens topped with crisp bacon, chives, potatoes, eggs, cream, and some bread crumbs. Serve yours on any inedible ingredient of choice.
12 big, meaty oysters
Coarse salt for partially filling pan
4 slices bacon, finely diced
1/4 cup peeled and finely diced small potatoes
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 egg yolks
1⁄3 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1/4 cup finely grated aged cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 12 equal pieces
Photo by Jennifer May