This is for “prepared” lobster stew. Typically much quicker and easier than “live” lobster stew, which would include the tomalley (aka: liver, a soft green substance found in the body cavity of the lobster, which has had go/no-go toxicity warnings from the FDA due to ocean pollutants in Maine over the years) and coral (aka: roe).
- 2 Large Pots
- A sharp knife 🙂
- 2 large raw frozen lobster tails4
- Use whole, fresh lobster if you have the time/money. The tomalley and coral (liver and roe, respectively) add a lot of umami to the stock. See warning above, though.
- Workaround for the tomalley/roe: if you have access to uni (sea urchin), a couple of those would be awesome.
- 6 T (3/4 stick) sweet, unsalted pasture butter
- 1 C (236ml) chopped yellow onion
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 4 C (946ml) whole milk
- 2 C (473ml) heavy cream
- 1 C (236ml) dry white wine (Rec: Coppola, Hahn, or La Crema Chardonnay)
- 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 lbs applewood bacon1, large-diced
- 2 C (473ml) diced unpeeled2 Yukon gold potatoes (2 med/lg potatos)
- 1 ½ C (354ml) diced yellow onions (2 sm/med onions)
- 1 tsp celery powder
- 1 T kosher salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground 3-pepper medley
- 1 T diced fresh chives
- 1/4 C (59ml) cream sherry wine
- 2 lobster tails
Prep the lobster
- Thaw lobster and reserve any water runoff.
- Steam the lobster (this can be done in a covered container in the microwave) in its own thawed water and remove the meat from the shells of the lobsters. Let it rest for a few minutes, the meat will be hot.
- Cut the meat into cubes and place them in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
- Reserve the shells and all the juices that collect.
- Melt the butter in a stockpot large enough to hold all the lobster shells.
- Add the onion and cook over medium-low heat for 7 minutes, until translucent but not browned, stirring occasionally.
- Add the sherry and paprika and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the milk, cream, wine, lobster shells and their juices, and bring to a simmer. Partially cover the pot and simmer the stock over the lowest heat for 30 minutes.
- In another stockpot, heat the oil and cook the bacon for 4 to 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until browned and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.
- Add the potatoes, onions, celery powder, salt, and pepper to the same pot and saute for 5 minutes.
- When the stock is ready, remove the largest pieces of lobster shell and and discard.
- Place a strainer over the soup pot and carefully pour the stock into the pot with the potatoes.
- Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
- Add the cooked lobster, chives and sherry Adjust with salt more or less to taste. Allow to incorporate and serve hot with a garnish of crisp bacon3.
- If you want to do this vegetarian, substitute the bacon with a pinch of crushed cumin and sauté until fragrant. It will add a little bit of that smokey flavor that the bacon would have.
- You can peel some of the potatoes and roast/toast the skins with salted-peppered butter and use as a garnish in place of the bacon.
- Something different – buy some toasted sesame sticks (every supermarket has their own house version) and partially crush them up in a mortar. Toss with some shredded Robusto (hard aged smoked gouda) cheese and use that as a topping/garnish. This gets you surprisingly close to the umami of bacon with even more complexity.
- You can substitute or augment the amount of meat by using langoustine, it’s usually pre-cooked and cut up at about half the price, and tastes nearly the same—likewise for monkfish.
- This recipe came together after consulting the experts: an old couple who spent their life near the Maine shore and for whom lobster wasn’t a “fancy night out”, it was just a weekly staple. Of course I’ve taken some (or a lot) creative liberty with it.
- I also do a version in ramekins with a poached egg on top. A play on Oeufs en Cocotte. 5/5 would bang again, vigorously.
[For: The Albano Family]