My Derby Party

Woodford Reserve Bourbon scented Lobster Butter poached Rappahannock River Oysters

by Chef Patrick McMurray
Starfish Oyster Bed and Grill, Toronto, Canada 

Enough For 12 oysters


  • 1 dozen Rappahannock Oysters in the shell (East Coast oysters suggested)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (4 ounces)
  • 1 cooked lobster head, crushed/broken into 1" pieces
  • 1 tablespoon Woodford Reserve Bourbon, more for drinking
  • 2 teaspoons dulse powder (available on-line)*
  • Micro pepper cress for garnish


Shuck the oysters, reserving the oysters, liquor (residual juice) and shells. Strain the oyster liquor and reserve.  Rinse the oysters to remove any sand or shell, and drain on a paper towel.  Rinse and reserve the shells, upside down until time to serve.  

Heat the butter in a deep saucepan.  Add the broken lobster and 1/4 cup  water, cook over low heat, just below a simmer, (do not boil) for 15 minutes.  Stir frequently.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer, reserving the butter and discarding the shells.  Rinse the pan to remove any small pieces of shell.  Return the strained butter to the pan and add the bourbon.  Return to the pan low heat, and bring temperature just to 120°F.   

Add the oysters and liquor, stir and heat through until the edges of the oyster just start to curl, about 3 minutes.  

Remove the oysters and serve one per shell, spooning a little of the bourbon scented lobster butter over the top.  Alternate serving suggestion is an Asian spoon.  Garnish with a pinch of dulse powder and micro pepper cress.  

*Dulse is a salty, sun-dried red-seaweed.