Beautiful, tender lobster served with wild garlic pesto aioli.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium live lobsters, placed in the freezer for two hours
  • salt
  • for the court bouillon:
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 stick of celery, trimmed and sliced
  • 600 ml (1 pint) dry white wine
  • a few parsley stalks
  • a few sprigs of thyme
  • a bay leaf
  • for the mayonnaise
  • makes 300ml (10 fl oz)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) sunflower oil
  • 25 ml (1 fl oz) olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tblsp chopped herbs, such as chives, dill, fennel (optional)

Method

 

  1. Put the lobsters in a large pan, cover with measured lukewarm water and add about 2 tablespoons of salt to every 1.75 litres water. Put on a medium heat and bring the water slowly to a simmer, 10 – 20 minutes. At this stage, the lobsters will be dead and just starting to change colour. Drain all the water from the pan.
  2. Place all the court bouillon ingredients in the saucepan with the lobsters and add 600ml (1 pint) water. Cover the pan and bring to the boil, then cook for 20 – 30 minutes until the lobsters have turned bright orange. Remove them from the pot and allow to cool slightly before removing the meat.
  3. To remove the meat from the shells, place a boiled lobster, belly side up, on a chopping board. While holding the lobster firmly with one hand, place the tip of a large sharp knife into the centre of its head, with the tip of the knife facing away from the tail. Using quite a bit of pressure, press down firmly to slice the lobster in half, lengthways.
  4. Though the head contains all the delicious and sweet brown meat there is a small gritty stomach sack behind the mouth that you should discard.
  5. All down the tail you have got the wonderful white meat, which is just like an oversized prawn, and in the head the brown meat consists of the grey-ish greeny brown (tasting a lot better than it sounds!) soft-textured meat. This can be eaten on its own or is great mixed with a little mayonnaise and served with the tail. The meat from the claws (which need to be cracked with the back of a sharp knife or a nut cracker or lobster claw crackers) is also divine and different in texture to that of the tail.
  6. The split lobster looks great just as it is still attached to it's shell sitting on plates; I love to serve it just like this and let people pick out the meat themselves, making sure there are some skewers and some nut crackers on the table, not forgetting some finger bowls and a larger bowl for discarded shells.
  7. For the Mayonnaise:
  8. Place the egg yolks in a bowl, then mix in the salt, mustard and vinegar.
  9. Mix the oils together in a jug, and very gradually, whisking all the time (either by hand or using a hand-held electric beater), slowly add to the egg yolks. You should start to see the mixture thickening. Season with pepper and more salt to taste, then stir in the chopped herbs, if you wish.