At first thought most people, myself included, are not all that positive about the idea of braaing oysters, but the fact of the matter is, all it takes to change your mind is eating one. I was introduced to this style of preparing oysters, braaied as opposed to fresh that is, by Ivo Vegter. This is a man much more famous for the way he wields his pen than for braaing but he knows a thing or two about oysters on a braai! This dish is designed as a starter and should be served as such, hot off the fire.
I will not go into the details of how to shuck an oyster in this recipe as I believe that is beyond the scope of this book. Get your fishmonger to shuck them or ask someone who’s done it before to show you how.
20 oysters (shucked)
2 tots butter
1 lemon (juice)
black pepper (freshly ground)
½ cup Parmesan cheese (or pecorino cheese, grated finely)
Remove all bits of broken shell that might be left in the oyster from when it was shucked.
Use a knife or spoon to loosen each oyster from the bottom of its shell. This is not a difficult task at all. You want the oyster to stay in its shell as we will braai them like that, but loosening them now just makes it much easier to eat them later.
Place all the oysters on a chopping board or serving platter and place a small blob of butter in each oyster. Then add a few drops of Tabasco and lemon juice into each one of them.
Season all the oysters generously with freshly ground pepper, then sprinkle a little bit of cheese over them.
Place the dressed oysters very carefully on your grid, trying not to spill any liquid or other ingredients from the shell. The oysters might make a popping sound while on the braai, but don’t worry, this means good things are happening.
Fresh oysters can be eaten raw so there is absolutely no reason to overbraai them as they were ready to eat even before the braai started. They need about 3 minutes on hot coals and as soon as they bubble and the cheese starts to melt you should take them off.
Remove from the fire and serve immediately. Eat the first one carefully; remember that the juices in those oysters just boiled and can be quite hot!
From The Democratic Republic of Braai by Jan Braai, published by Bookstorm
Recommended retail price: R295.00