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Red Wine Vinegar and Black Pepper Mignonette

Red Wine Vinegar and Black Pepper Mignonette

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Makes about ⅓ cup Servings

You know how guests always ask what they can do to help in the kitchen? Give them this recipe.


  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Recipe Preparation

  • Combine shallot, vinegar, and pepper in a small bowl; season lightly with salt. (Serve alongside oysters.)

Recipe by Travis Lett of Gjelina in Venice CA,Photos by Michael Graydon Nikole Herriott

Nutritional Content

Calories (kcal) 10 Fat (g) 0 Saturated Fat (g) 0 Cholesterol (mg) 0 Carbohydrates (g) 2 Dietary Fiber (g) 0 Total Sugars (g) 0 Protein (g)0 Sodium (mg) 80Reviews Section

Bluff oysters and Red Red Mignonette

Bluff oyster season kicked off last week and so far, I’ve scoffed 3 dozen.

Oysters can be an acquired taste but I have the taste for oysters in my genes. I can’t remember a time I didn’t love them, though I didn’t grow up on Bluffies. If you’re not an oyster fan, I wouldn’t recommend starting with raw oysters and certainly not with Bluffies. They are truely for the oyster connoisseur. The season is March to August and fans go a little crazy for the season.

Bluff oysters can be identified by their flat saucer shape and their creamy warm grey colouring. They’re less “frilly” than their black and white Pacific cousins. My very first bluff oyster was at a design event a few years ago, the oysters were free and shucked to order. Being a design event rather than a food event, there was no one queuing up for oysters. Not one to turn down free oysters, I kept eating as long as they were shucking.

This was the first time buying oysters in a tub and I was well impressed. They certainly don’t look as cool as served in shell but there are a few benefits. They are cheaper than eating them in a restaurant (even with the great restaurant specials) and they are bigger. There’s also the added benefit that you can eat these plump Bluffies at your own pace, I enjoy an oyster (or three) throughout the day while I’m working from home. What a treat!

I grew up on Pacific oysters, served raw with a squeeze of lemon, but lately I’ve been loving mignonette as an alternative. Mignonette (pronounced MIN-yuh-NET) literally, French for cracked pepper and traditionally made with minced shallots, cracked black pepper and vinegar.

This simple recipe makes plenty of mignonette for a dozen oysters and is easily multiplied for more. If you’re enjoying more oysters, substitute “tablespoons” for “parts” in the recipe. Finely chopped red onion and red wine vinegar combine to make a pretty pinky-purple topping. Some recipes call for salt in mignonette but Bluffies are saline so I find they don’t need any extra salt, if you are using sweeter oysters, add salt!

Combine all ingredients in abowl and place the mixture in a shallow pan so it is only 1 inch deep. Place the pan in the freezer. Every half hour, until it is compldtely frozen, agitate it by scraping with a fork to break up the ice crystals. The final product should look like shaved ice. Keep covered untik serving.


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Calories per serving: 58

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Oysters and mignonettes

Oysters and mignonettes are like peas in a pod they give your fresh raw oyster a completely different taste. Some mignonettes can be a bit overpowering so use a medium to high salinity, meaty oyster. And you can endlessly vary with different types of vinegar and ingredients like shallot, cucumber, ginger, peach, herbs, etc.

The classic mignonette for oysters on the hall shell is a red wine vinegar with small diced shallots. Another very nice one is the champagne vinegar. Take small diced cucumber, small diced shallot, black pepper and champagne vinegar. It’s a very fresh taste and perfect for all your different oysters and mignonettes.

Peach Mignonette

We got a special Peach Mignonette recipe from inahalfshellblog.

The sweetness of the ripe peach, spiciness from the ginger, and acidity from the vinegar make a killer trio that pairs beautifully with a medium to high briny oysters. There is a great contrast between the soft texture of the peach and oyster with the light crunch of the shallot and mint. This recipe is adapted from Chef David Turin @mainechefdavid and we love it with nice and fresh East coast oysters.

Mignonette Sauces for Raw Oysters/Oyster Safety

Raw oysters are usually served on a bed of crushed ice or dampened rock salt in order to hold them steady on the plate, along with various sauces. A common preparation is cocktail sauce and lemon we like them with hot sauce and horseradish as well.

A traditional mignonette sauce is made with vinegar, shallots or onions and black pepper. Here are three different mignonettes to try with our fresh raw oysters. (My guests liked these so much we kept the leftovers to use on fish and meat the next day.)

Classic Mignonette

½ cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons finely minced shallots
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients well. Chill for 30 minutes to let flavors meld. Spoon on oysters and serve.

Green Apple Mignonette

½ cup rice vinegar
4 tablespoons finely minced granny smith apple
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients well. Chill for 30 minutes to let flavors meld. Spoon on oysters and serve.

Cucumber Mignonette

½ cup white wine vinegar
5 tablespoons finely minced English cucumber
1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
1 tabelspoon chopped cilantro
½ teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients well. Chill for 30 minutes to let flavors meld. Spoon on oysters and serve.

A Note On Eating Raw Shellfish

New York State has strict rules for the process of harvesting oysters, from the moment they are taken out of certified waters to handling, shipping and storing them. Harvesters must have a shellfish license and must tag each bag of oysters with the date, time, area, name and license number of harvester and quantity collected. All shellfish must be immediately tagged so that their provenance can be traced in case of contamination.

I have no problem eating raw oysters from the Northeast, or from other parts of the country at a reputable restaurant, except for the Gulf Coast area. Alex and I stopped eating raw shellfish from Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas after many reports of red tides in the Gulf, a type of algae which can have a paralytic effect on anyone who ingests it. We feel that the water is just too warm in these areas and that can encourage the growth of bacteria such as vibrio vulnificus, an extremely dangerous bacteria that will give you nightmares the more you read about it.

Anyone who has a compromised immune system should think twice about eating raw shellfish ingesting this bacteria can be life threatening. That being said, we do eat cooked shellfish from the Gulf Coast, such as baked or fried in a po’ boy. Shellfish from colder waters is safer, and has a more fresh briny taste, in my opinion. If there is any question that the shellfish you are being served has not been handled properly, avoid it.

All photos by Kevin Bay, copyright 2016 Breakwater Media. Food styling by 9-year-old Ruby Villani.

Spicy Mignonette Sauce

For adventurous eaters, combine the classic mignonette sauce and nuoc cham, the spicy Vietnamese sauce, together in this recipe. It's amazing on raw oysters, but also truly shines when drizzled over grilled oysters. Peel and mince 1 small shallot and stir it into 1/2 cup cider vinegar, along with 1 to 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons red chili flakes, and salt to taste. A bit of fish sauce is good, too.

Red Wine Vinegar and Black Pepper Mignonette - Recipes

Try oyster mignonette if you want something with a more delicate flavor than cocktail sauce. The classic recipe is red wine vinegar, shallots and black pepper which many refer to as the “mother sauce”. That’s because you can add, subtract or modify the ingredients with your own creative ideas.

Recently my doorbell rang and when I opened the door a car was exiting the driveway. As it sped away, I found a portable cooler on the mat. While standing there I received a text message that read, “you have a package at your front door – enjoy”. It was the best ding, dong, dash present I have ever received, a care package of fresh blue point oysters.

Pea Crabs!

While shucking, I was startled to find something extra and it wasn’t a pearl. There were pea-sized crabs tucked inside two of the oysters. Technically they’re parasites that feed off the same plankton that nourish the oyster. I had never seen one before, but the NYC Oyster Bar claims to find as many as 1,000 on a busy day. Their shuckers are trained to remove them and that explains why they were a mystery because almost all restaurants do the same. If you are wondering, mine were quite tasty, like any crab, with a slightly sweet and briny flavor!

Some people believe finding a pea crab in their oyster brings good luck. I’m lucky to have a thoughtful friend.


Mignonette is a classic, spicy accompaniment to raw oysters (other possibilities include cocktail sauce, or Alonso sauce, which is red onion, tomato and celery, chopped into tiny flecks and seasoned with hot sauce, lemon juice and black pepper). Mignonette's name comes from the raw cracked pepper (usually of the white variety) in the sauce, which always contains some kind of vinegar.

1 teaspoon salt (preferably rock salt)

1/4 cup red wine vinegar (or another type vinegar, like sherry or champagne)

1/4 cup red wine (white wine may substituted)

1 1/2 tablespoon cracked white or black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil (or another oil, like canola)

1 tablespoon dill (or another herb).

1. Mix the salt and vinegar in a small bowl until the salt dissolves. Add the red wine, shallots, garlic clove (you can remove this after the preparation), pepper, oil and dill.

2. Serve immediately or allow to sit, refrigerated, for up to a day (this will "cook" the shallot in the acidic mixture). You may also strain the sauce.

Peach, Ginger, and Mint Mignonette


1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar

3 perfectly ripe (but not overly-ripe, mushy) peaches, pitted and small diced

1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

1 Tablespoon fresh mint, chiffonade

Freshly ground black pepper to taste


Pour the lightly seasoned rice vinegar, shallot, and ginger into a quart-sized bowl. Mix well.

Add the peach, mint, and salt. Gently fold in. If you’re using very soft peaches, take care not to smash peaches to mush.

Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Cover the mixture and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Option: If the mignonette tastes too sweet (this will depend on how sweet your peaches are), add a little more white wine vinegar for balance.

Storage: This mignonette can be stored for up to 2 days before the peach’s texture turns too soft. If it becomes too soft, perhaps freeze it and then use a blender to make a granita?

Conclusion :

Filet mignon is everyone’s favorite and for obvious reasons, it deserves to be loved round and round. Filet mignon as the main course itself is enough to make people stop and stare.

But anything partnered with a side dish simultaneously becomes splendid. And if you’re confused about the sides of filet mignon, you don’t know anything about it. Worry not, for we have already mentioned them above, solving your problem.

In my personal opinion, Caesar salad is an excellent option if you want something light, yummy and salty. Other than this, another option is macaroni salad. It is easy to make and fun to eat, especially on a hot sunny day, when all you want is something refreshing and icy.

FUN FACT: Filet comes from the French language, meaning a boneless or thick slice of anything, mostly meat. Whereas mignon simply means dainty. Moreover, 13 th August is considered as the National Filet Mignon Day.

Here is a recipe on how to cook filet mignon in an oven. And if you are on a look-out for new oven, check out Amazon for amazing finds.

Watch the video: How to make Mignonette Sauce. Recipe. Fish for Thought TV (May 2022).