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Oysters on Skewers

Watch our historic foodways staff cook this recipe, then try it at home

18th Century

“Put a bit of butter into a stew-pan, throw in large oysters and some mushrooms, with pepper, salt, pounded cloves, parsley, and sweet herbs chopped, a dust of flour; stir these about half a minute, then put the oysters on silver skewers, a mushroom between each; roll them in crumbs of bread; broil them; put into the stew-pan a little good gravy, let it be thick and palatable; a little lemon-juice. Serve the oysters on the skewers; the sauce on the dish.”

—From the Lady’s Assistant by Charlotte Mason

21st Century


  • 1 pint of oysters
  • 1 lb. package of whole mushrooms, white or baby portabellas
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • ¼ tsp Pepper
  • A pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. basil, chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil (olive or canola)
  • 1 Cup breadcrumbs, dried or fresh
  • 1 Cup good quality beef gravy mix with 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • Metal or bamboo skewers
  • BBQ grill


  1. Remove oysters from package, rinse and drain. Place oysters in a large bowl.
  2. Remove dirt from mushrooms (wash or rub with a cloth). If they are very large, cut them in half.
  3. Place mushrooms in the bowl with the oysters.
  4. Add the pepper, salt, cloves, parsley, basil, thyme, flour and butter into bowl with the oysters and mushrooms. Toss gently with your hands for about 30 seconds until everything is coated
  5. Slide the oysters onto a skewer followed by a mushroom. Continue to alternate oyster/mushrooms onto the skewers until you have used them all. Remember to leave about 2 inches of skewer unfilled at the bottom so that you can pick them up easily.
  6. Heat your BBQ grill to medium/high heat. Brush the grates with some oil so that the oysters do not stick while cooking.
  7. Gently roll each skewer into the bread crumbs and place them on the grill. You can use fresh breadcrumbs if preferred instead of dried. Simply place a large roll or four slices of bread in your food processor  to create the soft crumbs.
  8. Cook skewers on one side for 3-4 minutes. Flip them over gently and cook on the other side another 3-4 minutes. The oysters should feel soft, but also firm to the touch. How long you cook the oysters depends upon how large they are and how well done you want them.   If they are large oysters, increase the time to 5 minutes on each side.
  9. Heat beef gravy and add lemon juice. Pour into bottom of large platter. Place skewers on top and serve.

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