George Cowan's Oyster Stew

By Kristen Miglore
December 11, 2015
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Author Notes: Stew is a funny name for my grandpa's traditional Christmas Eve soup, since it's just whole milk, flavored with chopped fresh oysters, plus butter, pepper, and celery salt swirling across the top. It's a bit like an oyster pan roast or chowder, but barer in bones. There's no room to hide—so the better and fresher your oysters, the better it all will taste. Adapted slightly from my parents' website, The Online Cookbook.Kristen Miglore

Makes: 8 bowls

  • 1/2 gallon whole milk
  • 2 to 3 8-ounce jars of fresh oysters (24 to 36 oysters, shucked)
  • 1 cube butter
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or use more celery salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat milk in double boiler (or just on low heat).
  2. Dice oysters and place in stew pan with 1 cup water, butter, celery salt, salt, and pepper.
  3. Bring to simmer and simmer gently for seven minutes.
  4. Add oyster mixture to milk in double boiler.
  5. Simmer gently at least two hours. The longer it simmers, the more flavorful it is, or if it sets overnight it becomes more flavorful. Stir well and season to taste.

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