Roasted Oysters with Shallots & Herbs

from "High Heat: Grilling and Roasting Year-round with Master Chef Waldy Malouf"
by Waldy Malouf and Melissa Clark, 2003
Broadway Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup thinly sliced shallots
¼ cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
¼ cup ver jus
Coarse sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup chicken or vegetable broth (reduced sodium if canned) or water
1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley
Rock salt to roast the oysters on
3 tablespoons black peppercorns
24 oysters
Lemon wedges for serving

Preheat the oven to 500°F.

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Reduce the heat to low and add the shallots, wine, and ver jus. Cover and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add the chicken broth and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat and stir in the herbs.

Cover the bottom of an ovenproof baking dish large enough to hold all the oysters with rock salt. Sprinkle the peppercorns evenly over the salt. Open the oysters, discarding the top shell. Loosen the oysters from the bottom shell, being careful not to spill their juices, and lay them in the baking dish. Stir the shallot mixture and spoon some over each oyster. Roast until the edges of the oyster just begin to curl, about 5 to 8 minutes. Serve on the baking dish with lemon wedges.

Waldy Malouf is the chef and co-owner of Beacon Restaurant in New York City. Acclaimed for his work at some of Manhattan's most high-profile restaurants, including the Four Seasons and the Rainbow Room, he has been named a Great Chef of New York many times by the James Beard Foundation. His first cookbook, The Hudson River Valley Cookbook, was nominated for an IACP/Julia Child Cookbook Award.