Savory and bacon-y, with salt and brine from the sea, with an option to create a vegetarian version with sea vegetables and mushroom miso!
Time to prepare: 1 hour 15 minutes
• 15-20 shucked oysters, liquor included*
• 3/4 cup unsalted butter
• 1 loaf day-old plain white or sourdough bread
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 8oz bacon or pancetta*
• 2 yellow onions
• 5 celery stalks
• 1 leek
• 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
• 1 tablespoon fresh sage
• 1/2 cup sherry
• 2 eggs
• 2 cups chicken, turkey or vegetable stock
• Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
*For vegetarian version, omit starred ingredients, and include:
• 1 tablespoon smoked mushroom miso (available at Cataumet Fish - optional, but will mimic some of the depth from the bacon)
• 3/4 cup rehydrated sugar kelp, chopped (available at Cataumet Fish)
Pre-heat oven to 350. Butter a 3qt baking dish and a sheet of foil. Tear up bread into 1" pieces and place in a large bowl.
Chop bacon or pancetta (or sugar kelp) and vegetables. Heat oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Add bacon (or smoked mushroom miso) and cook, stirring occasionally until browned. Add to bowl with bread.
Add onions, celery, leek and herbs to skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook - stirring often- until onions are golden brown and soft. Transfer to bowl with bread.
Reduce heat to medium and add sherry, scraping up any browned bits, until almost evaporated, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup butter, cook and stir until melted. Drizzle over bread mixture.
Whisk eggs and 2 cups stock in a medium bowl, pour over bread mixture. Season with salt and pepper, add oysters and toss - adding more stock, a little at a time - until combined and bread is hydrated. Transfer to prepared baking dish and dot with remaining butter.
Cover with buttered foil, bake 30-35 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 450. Uncover and bake until top is golden brown and crisp, 20-25 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.