How to kill a lobster
One of the best methods for cooking lobster that I've seen in a while comes from Thomas Keller of the French Laundry. It's a very involved method, but worthwhile in a home kitchen as well as a restaurant. It involves first steeping the lobster only enough that the meat separates from the shell and becomes easier to remove, and then poaching the lobster meat in an emulsified butter sauce called a beurre monte. It's a delicious preparation of the meat, and also allows for the lobster to be steeped ahead of time and then prepared a la minute. This allows for many different preparations of the lobster, from a pasta dish to plated with a sauce made from the beurre monte.
To steep the lobsters:
Preparation Time: 45 minsServings: 2
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 lobster pot 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.
- 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.