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Five Spiked Soups

#3 Matagorda Bay Oyster Stew

Matagorda Bay Oyster Stew

Recipe courtesy Danny Trace, chef, Brennan’s of Houston, Houston, Texas

Loaded with potatoes, oysters and cream—not to mention a heavy pour of Pernod—this spiked stew is a hit with diners during the winter at the popular Houston restaurant, and its creaminess makes it a winning wine pairing for white Burgundy fans.

“It’s all the ingredients of comfort,” says Trace. “You can’t go wrong with the classic oyster-absinthe combination. It’s like a Southern hug in the wintertime.”

8 ounces bacon, diced small
2 onions, diced small
3 celery stalks, diced small
10 cloves garlic, minced
2 green bell peppers, diced small
¼ cup flour
3 cups Pernod Absinthe
4 cups oyster liquor
3 bay leaves
1½ pounds purple potatoes, diced small
1 cup heavy cream
3 pints oysters, shucked (liquor reserved)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced

Place a large soup pot over high heat for 1 minute. Add the bacon and cook to render for about 5 minutes, or until the fat is clear, stirring occasionally. Add the onions, celery, garlic and peppers and cook for about 15 minutes.

Add the flour, stirring constantly so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the flour is well distributed and the mixture thickens. Add the Pernod and cook for about 3 minutes or until the alcohol is cooked off, then add the oyster liquor, bay leaves and potatoes. Simmer uncovered about until the potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the cream, bring to a boil, cook for 2 minutes and then add the oysters. Cook until the edges of the oysters curl, then season with salt, pepper and green onions. Serves 10.

The Pour: Wine Director Jason Sherman recommends Maison L’orée’s 2010 Vieilles Vignes Bourgogne Blanc to match with the oyster stew. “A stunning Chardonnay made from old vines in the Burgundy region of France, this is a truly great example of Old World Chardonnay,” says Sherman. “With its core of minerality and acidity, this wine screams for rich cream dishes and buttery overtones.”