How To Make Lobster Thermidor

We show you how to cook lobster thermidor.



What we have got here is one native British lobster, he weighs about 500 grams and he was boiled for about 12 minutes. Now, what we are going to do is to remove the elastic bands and we are going to remove small legs around here, there are four of those on each side. Just literally rip those off. We are going to rip the big claws off, now that we have just taken the legs and the claws off, what we are going to do now is just put this very sharp heavy knife, just push down the back here and leverage down there, nice straight cut and then turn it around. You can almost see a line on the head, just follow that line, and just push your knife down. So, you have got a nice plain cut there.

This is our lobster half and we have got a little bit of muck in the head and we are going to remove that, we can see these chew lines there which are exposed now and we are going to remove that because it is full of sand and silt. So, we are going to take that chew down, just raise that slightly.

What you must never do with shellfish is never wash it because it has got this lovely salty flavour, this natural flavour, and if you washed it, you would be washing that lovely flavour away. Now, just poke your finger in there and remove that head part in there. Now, we are going to remove the tail meat. Right, so there is our tail and what we are going to do is just roughly cut that, you want it in small enough pieces and it will all go back into the shell here and that’s how tail, guys, is stuffed.

Now that claws go against the joint, it opens and closes that way, so go against it, just snap that off and then this claw here, just give it a little way, go backwards and forwards and just pull that out. There is a little bit of cartilage that comes out with that. So, what we are just going to do with this plum claw, we are going to crack the meat slightly. We are going to knock the knife and force the crack around there. So, we will give it a little tap and just force the crack there and you can just break that away there and there is your nice claw meat.

Now, this one has still got a little bit of cartilage inside, so we are going to cut down to it and we are going to gently press that out and we are going to dice both our claws up as well.
So, that is our claw meat. Now, these little knuckles we have got here, we are going to use the top plum part of the knife here, right, so just give a series of little taps, just to break that
shell slightly and we just peel that away, be very careful when you peel in it because it has got this thorns around, all these sharp pieces all over here. So, just peel that shell away, once you have got a big enough hole, then we will scrape the knuckle meat out there. Now, all of this here, that is going to go into our lobster stock to make out thermidor. So, this is all our meat here, we got the four knuckles here, we got the two diced claws, and that’s all our tail meat there.


Right, now, to make our lobster thermidor, we are going to need these ingredients here. I have got some chopped flat leafed parsley, I got some butter, I got a little bit of Dijon mustard, some fine chopped shallots, some diced tomato, I have got some cognac here and I have got some lobster stock. If you remember all our shells we had earlier, we are going to roast those off and add a little bit of tomato to that, some vegetables, bay leaf, little bit of chime, celery, onions, tiny bit of garlic, little bit of leaves, cover that with water and just let that cook for about 40 minutes simmering and like you make any other stock, once that we remove all the vegetable and we remove all the shell, pass that from a fine sieve, and really get that down to get that strong and intensive flavor.

And this is what you end up with, it started its life as half a litre of liquid and now, we are down to sort of 100 millilitres of the liquid there but it has got that lovely rich intense tomato shellfish flavor and that is what makes the dish. So, what we are making here is a sort of a binding sauce to go inside our lobster shells and that the lobster needs in there as well and then later on, we are going to make a mayonnaise sauce which is going to gratin ate it. So, this will have a little bit of parmesan on it and egg yolk so we are going to have this lovely bubbly crust on top of this fish. So, just set in these shallots off, we don’t need any colour, into that, we are going to splash some cognac. Just burn that alcohol off, so we are left with the nice sweetness of the liquor. Once all the alcohol is burned off and reduced down, we are going to pour some of this liquid into this stock in here, it could be probably around 50 ml, or 25 ml per lobster is sufficient. And it’s going to warm that liquid we have added together now. And into that, we are going to put about half a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, we have got some tomatoes diced here which is being pureed as well, so this is equivalent of one plum tomato. And we have got some flat leafed parsley into that, too.

Right, here is our lobster meat, and just put that sauce into that bowl here. We can add all our lobster meat to that as well and just season that. The lobster is already naturally salty so we don’t need any more salt. And now, we are going to fill all our lobster shells out, so it’s just a question of packing it nice and tight, you just have to add enough sauce to moisten the lobster meat there, you don’t want to it to be too wet. I am going to put my mayonnaise sauce on top of the lobsters over here.

If you want to know how to make mayonnaise sauce, look at my video how to make mayonnaise sauce, so we are just going to drizzle some mayonnaise sauce, it is important to do this while it is still warm and nice and fluid because it will get thicker as the sauce sets. Basically, fill over all the crevices, it’s nice and smooth, and see the consistency of the sauce; it’s not too thick, you can actually see the lobster meat through the sauce.

And we are going to sprinkle a little bit of parmesan onto the top, not too much and then you know how strong the parmesan is. Right, these are going to go into the grill now, probably about 2 minutes, just to glaze and to glaze it with a nice golden brown colour. And that’s how to make lobster thermidor.