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This super easy oyster stew is thick, creamy and rich! While most oyster stew recipes don’t call for potatoes, we find ours even better with it.
Read the directions carefully and follow the tips to achieve perfectly smooth, rich stew with very little fuss!
30-Minute Oyster Stew Recipe
- 1 pint 473ml oysters (Note 1)
- 3 tablespoons bacon fat or butter
- 1 cup diced potato*, Note 2
- 1 cup diced celery, 2-3 celery stalks
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon old bay seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups whole milk, slightly warmed (Note 3)
- Fresh parsley
- Hot sauce, such as Tabasco
- Soda crackers
- Drain the oysters over a bowl with a sieve and rinse under cold water to remove any sand or shell bits. Reserve the oyster juice. Roughly chop the oysters.
- Place a paper towel over a mesh sieve to catch any sand and impurities and run the reserved oyster juice through the sieve into a clean bowl.
- Heat a large pot over medium high heat.
- Add bacon fat or butter.
- Once the fat is melted and hot, add potatoes, celery and shallot. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Reduce heat to medium and add flour, old bay seasoning and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until flour is nicely toasted, about 1 minute.
- Slowly add reserved oyster juice, continuously stirring everything and scraping the fond (brown bits), built on the bottom of the pan. The mixture will get super thick, which is normal. If needed, add a little bit (1-2 tablespoons) of water to get all the brown bits scrapped off.
- Then slowly pour in milk, while stirring everything constantly, to gradually incorporate everything.
- Reduce heat to low/simmer, and slowly heat the soup up, about 10 minutes. (TIP:Don’t rush this step, because if you bring the soup to a boil, it’ll curdle, which won’t affect the flavor, but it’ll look unappetizing.)
- Add oysters and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Serve immediately with fresh parsley, hot sauce and soda crackers.
- Store leftover oyster stew in an airtight container in the fridge for up 3 days, or freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw frozen oyster stew in the fridge overnight, and then reheat it slowly over low heat.
HOW TO STORE OYSTER STEW?
You can store any leftover oyster stew in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container. If you plan on storing it longer than 3 days, see below for the best way to freeze and reheat oyster stew.
CAN I FREEZE OYSTER STEW?
Oyster stew can easily be frozen if you have leftovers or want to prepare it ahead of time.
To freeze oyster stew, leave the stew out until it reaches room temperature. This shouldn’t take long. As soon as it reaches room temperature, place it in the refrigerator to chill for a further 2 hours.
From there you can place the chilled stew in the freezer where it can be stored for up to 4 weeks.
It’s best to freeze oyster stew in smaller portions instead of one large tub. Individual portions of oyster stew freeze more quickly, giving water crystals less time to form. Water crystals forming in your stew isn’t the end of the world but they can change the texture of the stew once it defrosts.
HOW TO REHEAT LEFTOVER OYSTER STEW
Oyster stew needs to be reheated very gently to prevent curdling. To reheat frozen oyster stew, remove the stew from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator overnight. The next day you can reheat it in a pan over low heat, stirring continuously.
If the sauce needs to be smoothed out, slowly add some cream while stirring. The cream should also be heated in the microwave for 1 – 2 minutes before being added to the stew.
One thing to note is that the oysters in a stew that has been cooked, frozen and reheated will be slightly more cooked than oysters in a fresh stew. The texture is slightly chewier and the oysters will have shrunk down a bit but the flavor of the dish is not affected at all by the freezing and reheating process.