Monday, 2 March 2009

Ballymoney Oyster Soup

Nothing says "special occasion" like oysters. Luckily we have some fantastic suppliers of beautiful oyster in Ireland. I usually buy mine from Sean Keown in Bangor or occasionally the husband will stop off at Dundrum Bay Oyster Fisheries and pick some up. While in season they're actually pretty reasonably priced.

This is a good recipe for those who have maybe never tried oysters or don't like the idea of eating them raw.


2 large potatoes, cooked until tender
4oz belly of pork or streaky bacon if the belly is hard to come by
1.5 pints of hot milk
36 fresh oysters
1 bouquet garni
salt and pepper
1-2oz butter.

Open the oysters and reserve the liquor, a good fishmonger will do this for you but its easy enough once you get the hang of it.

Dice the belly or pork or bacon and fry gently until cooked without colouring too much.

Mash the potatoes with the hot milk, add the herbs and seasonings and bring to the boil.

Add the pork, oysters and liquor and simmer for a few minutes.

Add butter and serve hot.

This makes about four good sized portions. The soup shouldn't really be made in advance as the oysters will become tough when reheated. Feel free to make up the soup a day ahead and when ready to serve, bring the soup to the boil and add the oysters and liquor at that stage.

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