Brown Oyster Stew with Benne

McCrady's, Husk, Charleston, South Carolina, Sean Brock / September 2011

For 6 servings

• 1 cup Benton’s bacon, cut into sm. dice
• 1 cup white onion, cut into med. dice
• 1/2 cup Anson Mills bennecake flour
• 1/2 cup Anson Mills French Mediterranean
• white bread flour
• 40 Caper’s Blade oysters, shucked and stored in their liquor
• 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
• kosher salt
• hot sauce
• 1 lemon, cut in half
• Carolina Gold rice or samp grits, cooked (for serving)
• 1/2 cup scallion, thinly sliced
• 2 Tbsps. Sea Island benne

  1. Heat large saucepan set over medium heat; add bacon; cook, stirring frequently, until rendered and crispy (about 8 minutes); place bacon on paper towels to drain; reserve bacon separately for another use.

  2. Add onion to bacon fat; cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent (about 5 minutes); reduce heat to low; add flours, stirring with wooden spoon until fat has been absorbed; cook, stirring, until brown (about 7 minutes).

  3. Drain oysters in strainer set over small bowl; reserve oysters; stir liquor and stock into roux; gradually bring to a boil; reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes; season; add hot sauce and juice to taste; add oysters; cook until oysters are just warmed through (about 3 minutes); remove from heat.

  4. To serve, place some rice or samp grits into serving bowls; divide stew over top; garnish with scallions and benne.

What to drink: Leitz Riesling Trocken Rheingau Eins Zwei Dry 2009