The oyster pan roast is a New York City culinary landmark. Velvety, hearty and delectable, this popular comfort food has been served at the legendary Oyster Bar and Restaurant, located deep under the Beaux Arts grandeur of Manhattan’s Grand Central Station since 1913.
Despite its name, an oyster pan roast isn’t a roast at all but rather a seafood stew. Sandy Ingber, executive chef at the Oyster Bar and Restaurant, says that in preparing a pan roast, he uses a professional utensil called a steam jacketed kettle. The device is similar to a double boiler, but more intense. No worry if you don’t have one; Chef Ingber says the recipe takes longer in a double boiler but turns out fine. He does caution that the inside pot of your double boiler should be a perfect fit. Asked for other tips on preparing a distinctive oyster pan roast, he says “It’s a timing thing. After you add the half-and-half, you must take the mixture out of the pan the split second before it reaches the boiling point. Otherwise, the half-and-half could become mottled.”
You can find variations on the traditional oyster pan roast: here a trumpet mushroom, there a dash of nutmeg, there again an artichoke heart. Yet no version so soothes the soul as this one based on the Oyster Bar and Restaurant’s recipe.
—By Scott Rose
An old favorite, with good reason: this oyster dish is fast and satisfying.