Nathan Outlaw’s Dressed Lobster with Herb Mayonnaise

"Sometimes, perfectly cooked simple seafood and mayonnaise is all you need to impressive. If you’re entertaining, this is often the best way to go, as everything can be done in advance. All you need to remember with this dish is to remove it from the fridge half an hour or so before serving to take the chill off the lobsters. Verjus gives seafood a lovely fresh acidity." Nathan Outlaw

Nathan Outlaw's Everyday Seafood (Quadrille £20) Photograph: David Loftus

Serves 2 as a light lunch

  • 2 live lobsters, up to 1kg each 
 

  • 2 shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed 

  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves

  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 200ml verjus

  • Olive oil to drizzle
  • Sea salt
  • FOR THE MAYONNAISE 

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp English mustard

  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled and chopped
  • 
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped

  • 11⁄2 tbsp verjus

  • 200ml light olive oil
 

  • 1 tbsp chopped chives
  • 1 tbsp chopped tarragon
  • Sea salt

Top Tips

Place the lobsters in the freezer for an hour before cooking to make them sleepy.

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Method

  1. To cook the lobsters, put the vegetables, garlic, herbs, peppercorns and verjus into a large pan (big enough to hold all the lobsters). Pour in enough water to cover the lobsters and add plenty of salt. Bring to the boil over a high heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, kill the lobsters. Firmly insert the tip of a strong cook’s knife into the cross on the head to kill each one instantly. Add the lobsters to the simmering bouillon and cook for 6 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat. Leave the lobsters in the bouillon for 2 minutes to finish cooking in the residual heat, then lift them out. Reserve the bouillon and let it cool. Place the lobsters on a tray and leave to cool completely.
  3. Meanwhile, make the mayonnaise. Put the egg yolks, mustard, garlic, shallots and verjus into a bowl and whisk together for 1 minute. Add the olive oil in a thin, steady steam, whisking as you do so, until it is all incorporated. Season with salt to taste, cover and place in the fridge.
  4. When the lobsters are cold, carefully cut them in half lengthways, from head to tail. Remove the stomach sac from the head and the dark intestinal thread that runs along the length of the tail. Crack the claws and knuckles and lay the lobsters on a large platter.
  5. When ready to serve, mix the chopped herbs into the mayonnaise and spoon some into the head part of the shell. Drizzle the lobsters with a little bouillon and olive oil. Serve at once, with the rest of the mayonnaise in a bowl on the side.

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