Oysters Kilpatrick is a grilled bacon topped oyster dish served in restaurants all over Australia. It's an Aussie classic. Perfect for a country so abundant with fresh seafood.
Oysters Kilpatrick Origin
The Oysters Kilpatrick name is unusual, and the commmon story is that there was an Irish fellow named Patrick who was an oyster fisherman who had a bad heart. One day the oyster haul was so large, that Paddy died whilst trying to haul it into the boat. The local newspaper reported the following day "Oysters Kill Patrick"... Which is kind of a funny story for a recipe, but doesn't explain how the original recipe started.
I had never had cooked oysters on the half shell before I came to Australia. Maybe it was due to the fact that I grew up hundreds of kilometres from the ocean, and the seafood restaurants seemed to sell only frozen seafood. Nothing beats the fresh seafood in the restaurants in Australia. We are so lucky to be surrounded by water, with plenty of fresh seafood, including oysters.
How to eat Oysters
I think the most common way to enjoy oysters is raw, and on the shell. Don't be scared, they are truly delicious! Many people eat them just with a squeeze of lemon, or sometimes with a dash of tabasco. I make fresh oysters a bit fancy with an Asian vinaigrette, drizzled over the oysters. Check out my Asian Dressed Oysters recipe.
It might surprise people that you can grill oysters as well, they don't have to be eaten raw! If you are scared of raw oysters, then start here with this grilled oyster recipe. There are many different types of grilled oyster recipes such as; Oysters Kilpatrick, Oysters Rockefeller, Oysters Mornay, Oysters au Gratin... and they are all delicious. This Oysters Kilpatrick recipe is one of my favorites, and a staple at our house. Oysters Kilpatrick are very popular in Australia, once you try them, you'll see why!
Oysters Kilpatrick with Tomato Sauce
There are a few different ways to make this recipe, but I have kept it simple. I learnt how to make this recipe when I worked at a restaurant on the Gold Coast 20 years ago. The chef sometimes added a squirt of tomato sauce (Ketchup) when mixing the Worcestershire Sauce for a bit of extra depth, but that's optional. It's really just a tiny squirt, probably half a teaspoon! You don't want to overkill it with tomato flavor.
Other Oyster Kilpatrick varitations add a squirt of Bbq sauce, Tabasco sauce, Sriracha or Sweet Chili Sauce for a spicier twist. Otherwise you just mix in the sliced bacon with Worcestershir sauce, spoon on the oysters and you're ready to grill! It's that easy.
It only takes 5-10 minutes under the grill in your oven. Depends on how thick you cut your bacon, how hot your grill is, how far away your oysters are.... But when the bacon is cooked, you are ready to eat!
Oysters and Rock Salt
Grilled Oysters are usually served on rock salt, and it's more than a pretty decoration. There is a practical reason to place them on rock salt. Because oysters are a shell, they don't sit flat on a baking tray. Filling the tray with rock salt allows the oysters to sit evenly while baking under the grill. The rock salt heats up, but doesn't cook, so it's the perfect way to make grilled oysters!
Usually people serve the hot grilled oysters (and they are very hot) on the same baking tray they grilled it on. So if you want to serve it to guests, make sure your baking tray is clean and something you could serve food from. Sometimes I transfer them to a fresh serving platter with fresh rock salt. You can see in the video below that I used Himalayan Rock Salt, because of the pink pieces of rock salt look a bit fancy. But that's not necessary, you can serve in what you baked it in!
Oysters Kilpatrick with Cheese
Sometimes you don't think of adding something to a recipe, until you read about it! I've always used either Havarti or Edam, as they melt beautifully and have a buttery smooth flavour. Of course you can use other cheeses, but avoid sharp cheeses with a low melting point.
Why Do I Need Rock Salt When Serving Oysters?
The oysters are grilled and served on a base of Rock Salt. Quite often, you grill the oysters in the same pan that you will serve it in. Not only do the Oysters heat up, the rock salt is also hot. In my video, I served them on Himalayan Rock Salt, but that was just for show (to make it look a bit fancy).
The Oyster shell is uneven, lumpy and slightly pointy. If you grill or serve them without the Rock Salt, they don't sit evenly on your plate. The vinaigrette or toppings will then leak out. The rock salt allows the oysters to grill evenly, and to be served evenly.
Eating Oysters Kilpatrick is how I fell in love with eating oysters, it's an Aussie classic. If you've only had raw oysters, you really must try Oysters Kilpatrick, you won't want to eat your oysters any other way. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
- 1 dozen oysters
- 2 rashers of bacon sliced into thin strips
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- Rock Salt
- Preheat grill on high, or set oven to grill.
- In a small bowl, mix together the strips of bacon and Worcestershire Sauce.
- Place the rock salt on a baking tray, deep enough for the oysters to keep level while cooking. Position oysters on the rock salt, and spoon the bacon on top of the oysters.
- Grill the oysters for 5-10 minutes, or until the bacon is cooked and crispy. Serve immediately with a lemon wedge.