4 x 400g native lobsters
1 large onion
3 sticks of celery
1 small leek
4 cloves of garlic
6 sprigs thyme
6 sprigs tarragon
5 tbsp brandy
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 large cauliflower
To prepare the lobster, place it into the freezer for half an hour. This will render them insensate.
In the meantime put a big pan of water on to blanch the lobsters and have a big bowl of ice water ready, in which you will submerge them.
In another pan sweat the onions in olive oil, with the carrots, celery and leek until soft then add the tomato puree.. Cook out a little longer and put to one side.
Now that the water is boiling remove the lobster from the freezer and place onto a chopping board. Pierce the lobster’s head downward with a sharp knife. The procedure must not take more than 10 seconds. Then remove the tails and claws and place the tails into the boiling water (about 20 – 30 seconds) until the shell starts to turn red and the tails turns up. Remove the tails from the boiling water and plunge straight into iced water.
Put the claws in the water, re-boil and then leave them to cool down in the liquid.
Remove the tail meat from the shell and place in the fridge.
Crush all the lobster bones, put the pan with the sweated vegetables back on the stove and heat up, then add the lobster shells to the pan and cook until the protein has started to set.
Add a little brandy and reduce, then add just enough water to cover the bones, add the thyme and bring to the boil. Cook for 10 mins then add the tarragon, cook for 3 minutes then remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand for a couple of minutes. Pass through a fine chinois into a small pan and bring back to the boil and put to one side.
Take the claws out of the water, remove meat from shell and put to one side in a fridge – this can be used for a salad at a later date.
For each portion of sauce take 100ml of lobster stock and add 10g of butter.
Reduce this very quickly until it starts to thicken then whisk in a dessert spoon of cream for each portion. Put to one side.
Poach the lobster tails in the remaining stock (just make sure you have enough stock to cover them).
To poach the tails bring the stock to the boil, drop in the lobster tails and remove from the heat leave to poach for 4 minutes.
Take a look at William Drabble’s chef profile .