Grilled Oysters with Pommeau (from FRENCH GRILL)

Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
ASTUCE: If you cannot find Pommeau use sherry in this recipe. Be sure to set the oysters cupped shell down so when they open, their juice doesn’t spill out. The size oyster you use depends on your own taste. I adore small oysters; there used to be a category called “boudeuses” in France, tiny little things that were the perfect size. That category is gone, so I just take the smallest oyster I can find so that I can enjoy them in one, ultra-crisp bite (and I can eat more that way!). I like to do these over the coals, with some smoke added. That way the brininess of the oyster has a delicate smoky overlay. SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: grape vine or other wood cuttings or chips, long tongs, oyster glove or heavy towel, oyster knife PREPARATION TIME: DIFFICULTY: piece of cake
Servings: 4 servings
  • 2 dozen medium-sized oysters shells scrubbed clean
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons Pommeau or dry sherry heated slightly
  1. Build a medium –sized fire in the barbecue, or light up the gas grill with all three burners. When the coals are red and dusted with ash, spread them in a tight, single layer leaving a perimeter of grill with no coals under it; they need to emit concentrated heat. Set the grill over the coals.
  2. When the grill is hot add some grape vine cuttings, or the wood of your choice and let it flame up. Then, set the oysters – cupped side down – on the grill, balancing them so they sit upright. Close the grill, leaving the vents open, and cook until the oysters open, which should take about 5 minutes. Look at the oysters carefully – sometimes they just open a bit. Don’t wait for them to open wide – they’ll be over cooked.
  3. Remove the oysters from the grill. Holding an oyster in one of your hands that is protected by either a thick glove or a folded towel, and using an oyster knife, cut the muscle inside the top shell of the oyster to free it, and discard the shell. Free the oyster, which will be snuggled in the bottom shell by severing the muscle that holds it. This isn’t necessary, but it makes life easier for the oyster eater!
  4. Drizzle each oyster with an equal amount of melted butter, then drizzle with an equal amount of Pommeau, and serve immediately, while the oysters are still hot.

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