For 24 oysters


  • 240ml red wine vinegar
  • 35g finely chopped shallots
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt
  • 24 fresh oysters


1Make the mignonette in advance; it will be better the longer it is allowed to sit and infuse in the refrigerator.

2In a small bowl, stir together the vinegar, shallots, 2 grinds of pepper, and a dash of salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours before serving.

3Hold a folded, clean dish towel in your oyster-holding hand to act as a shield between the oyster knife and your palm. You can also keep the back of your hand against a hard surface, such as a countertop, to give more resistance as you shuck the oysters. Insert the point of the oyster knife into the seam of the oyster; it can be hard to find a point of entry and you may have to try a few different spots. Once you’ve gotten into the oyster, push forward to disconnect the muscle from the shell; you will feel a click and release once you’ve done that, and you should be able to pry open the shell easily. Once open, pour out the liquid inside the oyster shell and then discard the top shell.

4Arrange the oysters on a large plate for immediate consumption, or nestle them in ice if not serving immediately. Remove the mignonette sauce from the refrigerator at the last minute and serve with a small spoon so people can eat it with their fresh oysters.


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