TO STEW OYSTERS
(Modern Cookery, 1845)
A pint of small plump oysters will be sufficient for a quite moderate-sized dish, but twice as many will be required for a large one.
Let them be very carefully opened, and not mangled in the slightest degree; wash them free from grit in their own strained liquor, lay them into a very clean stewpan or well-tinned saucepan, strain the liquor a second time, pour it on them, and heat them slowly in it.
When they are just beginning to simmer, lift them out with a slice or a bored wooden spoon, and take off the beards; add to the liquor a quarter of a pint of good cream, a seasoning of pounded mace, and cayenne, and a little salt, and when it boils, stir in from one to two ounces of good butter, smoothly mixed with a large teaspoonful of flour; continue to stir the sauce until these are perfectly blended with it, then put in the oysters, and let them remain by the side of the fire until they are very hot: they require so little cooking that, if kept for four or five minutes nearly simmering, they will be ready for table, and they are quickly hardened by being allowed to boil, or by too much stewing.
Serve them garnished with pale fried sippets.
Small plump oysters, 1 pint: their own liquor: brought slowly to the point of simmering. Cream, 1/4 pint; seasoning of pounded mace and cayenne; salt as needed; butter, 1 to 2 oz.; flour, 1 large teaspoonful.
Obs. — A little lemon-juice should be stirred quickly into the stew just as it is taken from the fire.