Ger's Oysters Rockefeller & How to Shuck

For our 1st birthday the Borough Kitchen team got together to have dinner and try out some new recipes, tools and tricks. A hands down winner was oyster shucking and the subsequent making of Oysters Rockefeller (one of our dads’ recipes). Aside from the fact that it’s just superb, it’s also a great introduction to oysters given that they are baked and not raw.  A few hesitant team members not only liked them but kept coming back for more! The flavour of the oyster is enhanced by other strong ingredients such as pancetta, aniseed liqueur and parmesan and the result is a burst of wonderfully blended and balanced flavours. The dish works really well as a canapé while you’re finishing off dinner for your guests or an indulgent Sunday afternoon treat.

How to Shuck Oysters

  1. If you have an oyster shucking glove, use that to hold the oyster, otherwise, wrap a tea towel over one hand (left hand if right handed) and use it to hold the oyster in place
  2. Place the oyster flat side up on a chopping board or flat surface. Hold the rounded side of the oyster under the palm of your left hand to keep the oyster in place while shucking
  3. Run the oyster knife along the join of the top and base of the shell to find the hinge, which is a slightly recessed point. Rock the tip back and forth at the hinge to release the top part of the shell from the base
  4. Slide the knife from side to side to open the shell or, if you find it easier, twist the knife to pop it open
  5. Keep the oyster as flat as possible to avoid losing the liquid
  6. Slide the knife under the top shell until you reach where the oyster is attached to the shell, then firmly cut through until it is detached
  7. Lift off the top shell 

Ingredients for Ger's Oysters Rockefeller

  • 24 oysters in half shell
  • 100g of pancetta, finely chopped (or 6 strips of bacon)
  • 1 bag fresh spinach, stems removed and finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4-5 tbsp fine bread crumbs
  • dash of tabasco
  • 2 tbsp aniseed liqueur
  • 75g of finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 2kg of rock salt (for base of tray)


  • Rinse the oysters and lightly clean the shells with a scrub brush
  • Pour a 2cm layer of rock salt into a baking tray, which will act to hold the oyster shells in place while baking. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C
  • Shuck each oyster. Remove and discard flat top of the shell and pour the oyster juices into a bowl and reserve. Loosen oyster from the shell and rest on top of the rock salt
  • Place the bacon in a large frying pan and cook slowly on a medium-low heat to render the fat. Then turn up the heat to brown the bacon evenly
  • Add spinach, spring onions and garlic and cook slowly until softened. Add the bread crumbs, tabasco, oyster liquid and liqueur. Saute for about 3-4 minutes.
  • Spoon the mixture onto each oyster and sprinkle with parmesan cheese
  • Place in the oven for about 15 minutes and then serve immediately