Creamy Oyster And Potato Stew



  1. Put the potatoes in a pot, add a pinch of salt and enough water to cover by 2 inches, and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat so the water bubbles.
  3. Cook, stirring once or twice, until the potatoes are just barely tender at the center; a paring knife will still meet some resistance when inserted.
  4. Drain, reserving 2 cups of the cooking liquid.
  5. Return the pot to medium heat and add the butter.
  6. When it foams, add the shallots, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until soft and golden, 5 to 10 minutes.
  7. Raise the heat to medium-high, add the wine, and stir until it almost all bubbles away, a minute or two.
  8. Add the cream, the reserved oyster liquid and potato cooking liquid, and the potatoes.
  9. Bring the mixture just to a boil, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  10. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens, 5 minutes, then lower the heat so it barely bubbles.
  11. Slip the oysters into the pot, cover, and turn off the heat.
  12. After 5 minutes, take a peek; the oysters should be turning opaque; if not, put the lid on for another minute or two.
  13. Stir in the tarragon, taste and adjust the seasoning, and serve.