Down-home Southern cooking doesn’t have to be fancy; they just have to be good.
That’s the case with J. Oliver Wintzell’s recipe for Oyster Stew—the same one that’s been served at Wintzell’s Oyster House restaurants across Alabama (and even a few up in Pittsburgh nowadays) for more than 75 years. And it’s recipes like this one that keep folks coming back to Wintzell’s to this day for some of the finest oysters in the Gulf.
As Wintzell says of his recipes in his Oysters and Politics book, “them are good.” And in this case, them are pretty easy to make, too.
First thing you’ll want to do is heat up the milk and butter, so find a good stockpot and bring it to a boil.
Once the milk and butter are good and hot, drain your oysters (but make sure to save the juice) and add them to the milk. Lower the heat and let the oysters cook until they’re plump and well ruffled. And don’t forget to add the salt and pepper.
While the oysters are cooking, take the leftover oyster juice and heat it until it’s hot (but not boiling hot, now).
When it looks like the oysters are fully cooked, add the oyster juice to the mixture—just make sure it’s right at the last minute to avoid curdling.
They make oyster crackers for just such an occasion, so when it comes time to serve up a bowl, we recommend a hearty helping of ‘em to add some crunch to this sweet and salty stew.