Fall is a wonderful time of year, with a bounty of fruit, ripe for the picking. I really love the flavors of apples, oysters and my personal favorite, hard cider! I have combined these flavors to make for you a wonderful feast on the grill. If you don’t have a griddle pan, use a cast iron skillet with low sides. Remember to use a crisp, crunchy apple for best results!
For the stuffing
3 slices smoked bacon, thick cut, dice small
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
½ cup sweet onion, peeled and minced
½ cup hard cider (your favorite variety)
1 pinch kosher salt
4 grinds black pepper, from a pepper grinder
½ granny smith apple (or other hard, crisp apple) peeled, minced
1 tablespoon chives, minced
1 tablespoon parsley, stemmed and minced
¼ cup breadcrumbs
12 oysters, west coast preferred (Blue Point, Wellfleet, Dutch Isle)
2-3 cups kosher salt, for the roasting pan
1-2 lemons, split, for grilling
1. Cook the bacon in a pan on the side burner until the fat is rendered and the bacon has browned.
2. Add the garlic and onion and sauté until soft.
3. Add the cider, salt and pepper and reduce until almost dry.
4. Pour the mix into a small bowl and add the diced apples, bread crumbs, chives and parsley. Mix until well combined. Allow to cool briefly.
5. Pour the kosher salt into the griddle pan and level out, it should be about ½ inch deep.
6. Open the oysters and place on the salt bed. Push the oysters into the salt to create a pocket to hold them upright.
7. Top each oyster with the onion bacon mix. About 2 tablespoon of mix per oyster.
8. Prepare the grill for direct, high heat grilling (about 500F). Preheat the grill for 10-15 minutes.
9. Once the grill is hot, place the pan on the grill, directly above the heat. Close the lid.
10. Cook the oysters for about 15-18 minutes. The center should be bubbling and the tops browned.
11. Once the oysters have cooked, grill the lemons quickly and serve hot!