How to Poach Lobster Tail in Butter
Lobster is a classic choice for an elegant meal. If you'd like a creative twist on the dish, poach lobster in a butter sauce. To ensure that the lobster poaches gently in the butter, you'll need to flash-cook the lobsters in hot water for a few minutes. Finish the lobsters in an emulsified butter sauce to add rich flavor and keep a delicate texture.
1 pound (453 g) unsalted butter at room temperature, in pieces
3 1.5 to 2-pound (680 to 907 g) live lobsters
Makes 5 to 6 servings
Flash-Cooking the Lobsters
Place the lobsters in a pan and measure the water.Get out a large skillet or pan and put three 1.5 to 2 pound (680 to 907 g) lobsters in it. Pour enough cold water to cover the lobsters. Take the lobsters out of the pan and pour the water into a measuring jug. This measurement will tell you how much butter you'll need for poaching the lobsters later.
Bring water with vinegar to boil.Pour the water from the measuring jug into a large pot. Stir in 1 tablespoon (30 ml) of white vinegar for every quart (0.9 liters) of water and turn the heat to high. Bring the water to a boil and turn off the heat.
Steep the lobsters in the liquid for 2 to 3 minutes.Place the lobsters back into the large skillet or pan and carefully pour the hot vinegar and water over them. Put the lid on the pan and steep the lobsters for a few minutes to cook them a little. Steep the lobsters for 2 minutes, if you're using 1.5-pound (680 g) lobsters or 3 minutes, if you're using 2-pound (907 g) lobsters.
- Leave the hot water in the pan to poach the lobster meat later.
Removing the Meat from the Shells
Twist off the tails and steep the claws for 5 more minutes.Use tongs to carefully lift the lobsters out of the pan and place them on a baking sheet. Wear rubber gloves to hold a lobster by the tail. Twist and pull the lobster claws and knuckles from the bodies. Put the claws and knuckles back in the hot water to steep for 5 more minutes.
Remove the shells from the tails and cut the meat.Twist the tails off of the bodies and throw away the bodies. Use kitchen shears to cut through the bottom sides of each tail shell. Pull the shells away so you can get to the meat. Throw the shells away and use a sharp knife to cut the meat of each tail in half lengthwise. You'll also need to trim off the vein that runs along the top of the tail meat.
Chill the tail meat while you remove the claw meat.Lay a paper towel on a serving plate and set the tail meat on the paper. Wrap the meat with plastic wrap and refrigerate it. Use tongs to lift the claws and knuckles out of the hot water. Twist off the knuckles and pull the claws apart to get to the meat. You'll need to use kitchen shears to cut through the shells.
- Leave the water in the pan to use for the poaching liquid.
- You can refrigerate the claw and knuckle meat with the tail meat while you prepare the butter for poaching.
Poaching the Lobster in Butter
Whisk butter into hot water.Scoop out 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the water from the pan you used to flash-cook the lobsters. Pour it into a saucepan and turn the heat to high so the water boils. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting. Cut 1 pound (453 g) of unsalted butter into pieces and slowly whisk the butter into the water. The butter should combine with the water to make a smooth sauce. Pour the liquid into a thermos to keep warm.
- Ensure that the butter is at room temperature or it may cool the poaching liquid too much.
- Avoid boiling the butter or the solids in the butter will separate.
Preheat the oven and arrange the lobster meat.Turn the oven on to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Take the lobster meat out of the fridge and transfer it from the serving plate to a large saucepan. Lay the meat in a single layer so it will poach evenly.
Add the poaching liquid and poach the meat for 5 to 6 minutes.Pour the poaching liquid from the thermos over the lobster meat. The meat should be almost completely covered. Heat the saucepan over low heat and poach the lobster for 5 to 6 minutes. The lobster will gently heat all the way through.
Drain and serve the poached lobster.Use a slotted spoon or tongs to carefully lift the lobster tail and meat out of the poaching liquid. Set lobster tails, claw meat, and knuckle meat onto serving plates along with your favorite sides. Serve the lobster immediately.
- Butter poached lobster works well with steamed asparagus, mashed potatoes, risotto, or a green salad.
Video: Chef Melissa King Butter Poach Lobster
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