• 900 g live lobsters
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 carrot (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 onion (peeled and sliced)
  • 2 celery stalks (sliced)
  • 600 ml water
  • 600 ml dry white wine
  • a couple of sprigs of fresh parsley and thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a few peppercorns
  • 50 g butter
  • juice of 1 lemon, plus wedges to garnish


  • A couple of hours before you are ready to cook, put the lobsters in a plastic bag and put in the freezer. When it is time to cook them, bring a large saucepan of salted water (3 tablespoons salt to every 2 litres of water) to the boil.
  • Plunge the frozen lobsters directly into the boiling water and when they start to turn from dark blue to browny orange (about 10 minutes), remove them from the pan and discard the water.
  • Put the carrot, onion, celery, water, wine, herbs and peppercorns into the same saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the lobsters and cover with the lid.
  • Cook until they turn a very bright orange-red with no trace of blue: for 900g (2lb) of lobster, this will be about 20 minutes and for 1.3kg (3lb) of lobster, this will be about 30 minutes.
  • When they are cooked, take them out of the pot and sit somewhere to cool. Strain the cooking liquid and use as stock (it will freeze).
  • Once the lobsters are cool enough to handle, take a large, sharp chopping knife and cut them in half along the top from the head to the tail as evenly as possible. Extract all the brown meat from the head and the white meat from the tail and claws. You will need to use either a wooden mallet or the flat edge of a chopping knife blade to crack open the claws. Chop the meat into 2cm (3/4in) chunks.
  • Clean the lobster shells (keep the head and tail intact, if possible, to serve the lobster in) and pop into an oven to heat up.
  • Melt the butter in a frying pan on a high heat. When it’s hot and foaming, add the lobster meat and toss for about a minute.
  • Season with lemon juice and pepper. Using a slotted spoon, divide the lobster between the half shells on warmed plates, then spoon the juices over the lobster meat.
  • Serve immediately with wedges of lemon and see your guests melt in ecstasy!


This recipe and many more are available from Rachel's book Rachel's Food for Living published by Harper Collins