Lobster Recipes: Lobster Sauce

Lobster a l’americaine
This famous lobster dish originated in the south of France where the use of tomatoes in sauces is prevalent. Originally called lobster Provencal, the version a l’americaine was first prepared at the restaurant of Noel-Peters in the Passage de Prince in Paris. The version that I’ve adapted uses a method of butter-poaching the lobster meat after it has been steeped in the shell.

Preparation Time: 1 hourServings: 2

preparing lobster sauce in a pan

    • Liquid from steeping the lobsters
    • Lobster bodies and shells
    • 4 ounces butter
    • 4 ounces flour
    • 4 shallots, fine dice
    • 1 small onion, fine diced
    • 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
    • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 4 ripe medium sized tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced(link to tomato concassee)
    • 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
    • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
    • 1/2 cup cognac or brandy
    • Salt
    • Freshly cracked pepper

  • Melt butter in saucepan and saute shallots and onion until lightly browned, add garlic.
  • Rinse lobster bodies, removing and reserving the pale green tomalley and the orange roe.
  • Add lobster bodies and shells, tomatoes and tomato paste to the saucepan and saute for 5 minutes.
  • Add flour and stir well to make the roux..
  • Add 2 cups of steeping liquid 1/3 at a time, stirring to remove lumps between each addition.
  • Add herbs and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Strain through a fine chinois(china cap).

To steep the lobsters:

2 1 1/2 to 2 pound lobsters
1/2 cup white vinegar per 8 quarts of water
enough water to completely cover lobsters

    • Place lobsters in a stockpot or other heat-proof container with a lid.
    • Bring water and vinegar to a rolling boil and then pour over lobsters and cover.
    • Let steep for 2 minutes for 1 1/2 pound lobsters and 3 minutes for 2 pound lobsters.
    • Remove from the pot with tongs, twist off claws with knuckles attached and return claws to pot for 5 minutes.
    • Twist off the tails from the body and pull off the flippers from the end of the tail. Push the meat out through the large end of the tail.
    • Remove the vein from the center of the tail.
    • After 5 minutes, remove the claws from the pot and crack open with the back of a knife. Use only enough force to crack the claw and loosen the meat.
    • Remove the meat from the knuckles. Save the bodies for stock.

To cook the lobsters:

Make sufficient beurre monte to barely cover the lobster meat. Place the lobster meat in a saucepan, cover with beurre monte and cook over low heat for 5 to 6 minutes or until heated through.

This dish is traditionally served with a rice pilaf, but it will go well with other rice dishes as well as pasta. For a dramatic presentation, slice the tail into 5 slices on a bias and arrange on the sauce in the shape of a whole lobster with claws on either side of the tail and knuckle meat between the claws and tail.

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