The Best Maryland Oyster Stew Recipe starts with plump oysters and Old Bay seasoning from Maryland, white wine, cream and mushrooms.
Oysters Are Winter’s best gift from the Chesapeake Bay.
Best Maryland Oysters
Having grown up along the Chesapeake Bay of Maryland, we all know that every month with the letter ‘R’ in it is a month to be eating fresh oysters.
My 4th generation waterman brother in law, has advised often, that the best flavor for oyster stew, comes from oyster liquor; the liquid inside of a freshly shucked oyster shell.
Our family is spoiled with the biggest and best oysters, coming right out of the bay, and years of stories that go with them.
How grateful I am not to have to shuck the oysters myself, since there is a technique to it!
But not to feel slighted, because these oysters are shipped around the country, as jarred oysters, in tightly sealed containers, package with some ‘eastern shore lovin’!
Dredging Maryland Oysters
Dredging oysters is not like fishing for other delicacies from the sea. They are imbedded in the mud at the base of the bay, or oyster reefs.
There are many debates as to how best extract them without removing those that are not yet mature, or damaging the oyster reefs.
Since I am environmentally concerned for these treasured Chesapeake oysters, I don’t complain about the cost for these oysters.
Do You Prefer Oysters In A Stew Or Raw?
Since oysters are in season during the winter months, because cold water provides the freshest oysters, our family enjoys oysters served many ways.
Often for Christmas Eve, a platter of freshly shucked raw oysters is set out, with lemon wedges, a sprinkle of fresh parsley, celery salt, and a side of saltine crackers and some hot sauce.
Any leftover oyster stew, goes into an airtight container and into the freezer for busy weekdays or to give as gifts.
To reheat, simply thaw in a soup pot, simmer on low, but be certain not to boil.
Remembering not to cook the oyster stew, simply to heat it to a temperature that retains its original textures.
How To Make Maryland’s Best Oyster Stew
The most important tip to remember when making oyster stew, is not to over cook the oysters.
Most of the cooking is done with the veggies, making sure to saute onions and garlic to golden brown, almost sticking to the bottom of the pot to caramelize them.
From there, you simply lower heat, layer in all the ingredients, except the oysters, and simmer a short time adding the oysters last.
More Seafood Chowder and Stew Recipes
While this oyster stew recipe is the best you will find anywhere, I couldn’t help but to share a few other seafood chowder and stew recipes with you:
- Moqueca Brazilian Fish Stew – Brazil’s finest seafood stew in velvety coconut milk and teases with lime and jalapeno
- Oyster Liquor Oyster Chowder – another favorite oyster chowder without dairy and loaded with oyster flavor and a few chilies
- Shrimp Ramen – a shrimp soup that comes together in under 30-minutes
- Oysters and oyster liquor
- Salt and black pepper
- Potatoes or corn kernels
- Butter or bacon fat
- Bay leaf
- Worcestershire sauce
- Heavy cream
- Half and half or whole milk
- Old Bay Seasoning
- White wine
- Large pot with lid
- Cutting board
- Chopping knife
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Vegetable peeler
- Cooking spoon
- Stovetop or burner
Best Maryland Oyster Stew Recipe
- Large pot with lid
- Cutting board with knife
- 1-2 pints Oysters with liquid
- 1 cup Bottled clam juice
- 4 tbsp Butter or bacon fat
- 1 cup Yellow onions chopped
- 2 Garlic cloves crushed
- 1/2 cup Celery and leaves finely chopped
- 2 tsp Seafood seasoning
- 1/4 cup Fresh parsley finely chopped for garnish
- Salt – to taste
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- Black pepper – freshly ground
- 1/2 cup Dry vermouth or white wine
- 2 cups Half-and-half or whole milk 1
- 1 cup Water
- 1 1/2 cups Carrots chopped
- 2 cups Potatoes or Corn kernels
- 1 cup Button Mushrooms – 1 cup quartered
- 1/4 cup Green onions chopped for garnish
- Melt butter in a 3-quart pot to saute the onions, celery, garlic and carrots until caramelized.
- Add the remaining ingredients, except the oysters, parsley and green onions, and simmer on low until the potatoes and mushrooms are tender.
- Slowly pour in the oysters, cook for another 5 minutes until oysters form tight little balls, and serve with parsley and green onions on top.