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Mama Macie’s Oyster Stew


Tags: cold weather, comfort food, Country Cooking, entertaining, fall, Family Supper, southern, winter

The most luxurious oyster stew is equal parts oysters and milk. Here, its 2 parts oysters to 3 parts milk, since Mama Macie and Aunt Margaret saved the largest select oysters for frying. You can increase the oysters to 3 pints or make it a little thinner by adding another pint of milk to the mix. It multiplies easily; just keep the proportions the same. Serve with plenty of saltines or oyster crackers.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Servings: 6 to 8


  • 2 pints shucked oysters
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 pint cream or evaporated milk
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons butter
  • salt
  • whole black pepper in a mill


Drain the oysters in a sieve set over a bowl, saving the liquor, and pick over them for any lingering bits of shell. Put the reserved strained liquor, milk, and cream in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and add the butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper and let simmer 5 minutes.

Add the oysters and simmer until they’re plump and firm and their gills curl, about 5 minutes, taking care not to overcook them. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper and serve at once, making sure that a goodly portion of oysters and butter makes it into each bowl.

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