Bacon Barbecue Oysters

What's better than an oyster? An oyster with bacon and barbecue sauce!

Photo: Courtesy Paul Gerard

Oysters are great, bacon is great – but put them together and you get amazing!

Chef Paul Gerard’s daring recipe combines the two and adds a touch of tangy homemade barbecue sauce, giving you an appetizer that’s bound to impress at your end-of-summer get-together.

Bacon Barbecue Oysters

Serves 12
Oyster Barbecue Sauce
• extra virgin olive oil
• ½ onion, chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, chopped
• ¼ cup minced fresh chiles
• 2 cups ketchup
• ¼ cup brown sugar
• ¼ cup molasses
• 1 tbsp. white vinegar
• 1 tbsp. dry mustard
• 1 tsp. ground cumin
• 1 tsp. pimento/smoked paprika
• freshly ground black pepper
• 1 bunch fresh thyme, chopped

1. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a sauté pan. Sweat the onion, garlic and chile until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add everything except the thyme. Simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat; add thyme and season to taste.

For serving
• 24 large oysters on the half shell
• 1 lb. crispy cooked bacon, roughly chopped or broken by hand
• yellow celery leaves (from the centers of the celery bunch, picked and washed)
• lemon wedges
• sliced fresh chiles (or hot sauce)

1. Top each oyster with a dollop of barbecue sauce and some chopped bacon.
2. Place on heated barbecue grill and close lid for a minute or two to caramelize the sauce a bit, or you can just cook oysters on an open grill until they begin to bubble.
3. Remove from grill and top with the sliced chiles, bits of celery leaf and lemon.

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