Loved by chefs the world over
John Williams - Executive Chef, The Ritz London

Butter-poached Lobster

with ginger and cauliflower cream puree


  • 4 x 500g British lobsters
  • 100g butter
  • I small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • quarter of a small celeriac, finely chopped (about 40g)
  • quarter to a half bulb of fennel, chopped (about 40g)
  • small piece of root ginger, chopped
  • 6–8 cardamom pods
  • 10 coriander seeds
  • small bunch of fresh coriander
  • 60ml brandy
  • 250ml lobster or fish stock
  • 125ml chicken stock
  • 25ml double cream
  • pepper and Maldon seasalt, to taste
  • 250g clarified butter

For the cauliflower cream purée:

  • half a cauliflower
  • 500ml milk
  • 50g butter
  • 100ml cream

Serves 4

Butter-poached Lobster

Begin by preparing the sauce. Blanch the lobsters in boiling water for 20 seconds to release the flesh away from the carcass. Carry on cooking the claws for a full 2 minutes so the flesh may be released from the shell, then refresh in iced water. Break the head away from the body, then crack the tail to remove the shell from the tail meat. Repeat the process with the claws and knuckle. (Sturdy scissors are useful for opening up the lobster.) Clean the head and any grey matter and reserve the coral to use in the sauce later. Chop the shell into small, equally sized, pieces.

Heat a heavy saucepan and sauté the shell in the butter until it roasts lightly and becomes red in colour. Add the onion, carrot and celeriac and sweat them for approximately 10 minutes, then add the fennel, ginger, cardamom, coriander seeds and leaves (retain a few) all together. Cook them slowly to allow the perfume to develop, and be careful that they don’t catch. Then flambé with the brandy, allowing it to totally vaporise, and reduce to a fine glaze. Add the lobster and chicken stocks and slowly cook them down, reducing the liquid by three-quarters. Add the cream, bring to the boil slowly, then lower the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Season the sauce to taste and pass it through a fine sieve (or chinois) and finish by whisking in the coral which has also been passed through a sieve. This must be done away from the heat or it will curdle the sauce. Keep the sauce warm.

For the cauliflower purée, cook the cauliflower in the milk and enough water to cover until tender. Drain it well, then place in a liquidiser with the cream, butter and seasoning. Blend to a fine smooth purée and season to taste.

To cook the lobster, bring the clarified butter up to a temperature of approximately 65°C. Put the lobster portions in the butter and poach them very slowly for 5 minutes. Then lift them out and drain onto kitchen paper.

To serve, place a spoonful of cauliflower purée in the centre of the plate and rest the lobster on top. If you can, foam the sauce with the aid of a Bamix mixer and pour it generously over the lobster; otherwise, drizzle the sauce elegantly around and over it. Finish with a few leaves of coriander.

  • ©2018. Maldon Crystal Salt Co.