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Oyster & sausage pie

Not really a pie, this dish layers oysters, sausage and a breadcrumb topping with cheese. It is easy, especially if you buy shucked oysters, cheap and comforting. For four.


-butter for greasing a nine inch pie pan
-about 4 dozen shucked oysters, or enough to line the pie pan
-1 Tablespoon lard (preferred) or olive oil
-½ lb raw bulk sausage
-1 cup chopped onion
-salt and pepper
-about 1½ cups breadcrumbs
-2 Tablespoons olive oil
-1 heaped Tablespoon or a little more minced parsley
-about ¼ teaspoon cayenne
-scant ¼ teaspoon mace
-½ cup shredded Cheddar or grated Parmesan or Romano

Preheat the oven to 400°.

  1. Grease a nine inch pie pan or something roughly equivalent with the butter and line the bottom with the oysters.
  2. Melt the lard or oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat and cook the sausage, breaking up the clumps and stirring until it begins to brown, usually in about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the onions, reduce the heat to medium and cook until they clear.
  4. Check the seasoning for salt and pepper, remove the sausage mixture from the heat and let it cool while you make the topping.
  5. Stir together the breadcrumbs, olive oil, parsley, cayenne and mace.
  6. Top the oysters with the sausage mixture and top it in turn with the breadcrumb mixture.
  7. Top the breadcrumbs in turn with the cheese of your choice and pop the pie in the oven until the cheese browns and bubbles, usually in about 20 minutes.


- We have derived our recipe from Every Day’s a Party by Emeril Lagasse (New York 1999). The cookbook sounds and looks like a gimmick but it is not. Lagasse may have become too much the huckster and allowed his expanding restaurant empire to rest on his fame, but this is an enjoyable and accessible cookbook. Most of the recipes--although not the antecedent of this one--work. Among other things Lagasse, or rather his ghostwriter, instructs the reader to add over a cup of liquid to the topping, and to mix it with the sausage. The result of that method was sodden.

- To Creolize the pie, skip the mace and add about a Tablespoon of Creole seasoning (good brands abound) to the breadcrumb mixture. The cayenne then becomes optional and its proportion, if you use it, should depend on the heat of your Creole seasoning.