Mrs Glasse’s Oyster Sauce (1747)


  • 12 oysters (bearded) with their liquor
  • 2 blades of mace
  • 12 peppercorns
  • ½ pint (3 dl.) good reduced white stock
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 3 oz. (90 g.) butter*
  • oz. (45 g.) flour
  • salt


This recipe has been adapted for present-day use.

Put the oysters and their liquor in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of water, the mace and peppercorns. Simmer for 5 minutes. Lift out the oysters and reserve and let the liquor boil quite briskly for another 5 minutes. Meanwhile make a roux with the butter and flour, and stir in the stock and wine. Strain the reduced oyster liquor into this sauce and add the oysters. Add salt if required.

Serve with any grilled fish or with boiled turbot, halibut or cod. If using for boiled fish, ½ pint (3 dl.) of the court-bouillon in which it cooked can be substituted for the stock. Mrs Glasse specifies ‘gravy’, and the character of the sauce is altered if fish stock is used, though both forms are very good.

* This quantity of butter makes a buttery sauce. Mrs Glasse uses ½ lb. (240 g.), which is too much.