Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Butter poached lobster, spiced carrot purée and lemon verbena sauce

Prep time 30 mins to 1 hour
Cook time 30 mins to 1 hour
Serves 2
From Saturday Kitchen
Fancy a challenge? Try this fine dining version of lobster with butter-brasied vegetables and a delicate lemon verbena sauce.


  1. For the spiced carrot purée, tie the star anise, cardamom, vanilla and ginger in a muslin bag.

  2. Place the carrots in a pan with the bag of spices, butter (reserving a small amount), salt and pepper, and enough water to cover. Cook slowly until the carrots are tender, remove the spices and set aside.

  3. Drain the carrots - reserving the cooking water. In a blender, liquidise the carrots to a smooth purée. Use some of the reserved water to loosen the purée if necessary. Stir in the remaining butter and cream.

  4. For the lemon verbena sauce, heat the oil in a frying pan and gently fry the shallots, carrots, celery and fennel until softened but not coloured.

  5. Add the ginger and lemongrass, and cook gently for 15 minutes.

  6. Add the vegetable stock and chicken consommé, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

  7. Remove from the heat and add the lemon verbena leaves. Set aside to infuse in a covered pan for five minutes, then pass through a chinois or fine metal sieve.

  8. Add the cream and whisk vigorously to a light foam, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and finish with lemon juice and sugar.

  9. For the lobster, to kill the live lobster place it in the freezer for 30 minutes to stun it then pierce it just behind the head with a sharp, heavy knife or skewer.

  10. Separate the claws and tail from the head.

  11. In a pan of boiling water, blanch the claws for five minutes and the tail for three minutes, remove and refresh in ice-cold water.

  12. Remove the lobster meat from the shell, keeping the meat in large pieces.

  13. For the broad beans, blanch the broad beans and then remove from the husks quickly.

  14. To cook the morels, remove their stalks and quickly wash to ensure there is no sand inside. Braise in an emulsion of the consommé and 15g/½oz butter. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook gently until soft.

  15. To finish cooking the broad beans, melt the butter in a pan. Add two tablespoons of water, a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar and mix to make an emulsion. Add the broad beans and allow to warm through for a few minutes.

  16. When ready to serve, reheat the lobster by melting the butter with two tablespoons of sugar, a pinch of salt and a little water in a pan. Mix to make an emulsion. Add the lobster meat and allow to sit off the heat for three minutes to warm through.

  17. To serve, place a spoonful of carrot purée in the centre of each plate. Place the lobster meat on top. Dress with the morels and broad beans. Spoon the verbena sauce around the plate and serve.


  • 1 lobster
  • 50g/1¾oz butter
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • pinch salt

For the spiced carrot purée

  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cardamom pod
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 2cm/1in piece fresh ginger
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 25g/1oz butter
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp cream

For the lemon verbena sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery
  • 10g/1/3oz fennel
  • 1cm/½in piece fresh ginger
  • 1 stick of lemongrass
  • 1 sprig lemon verbena (fresh or dried leaves)
  • 60ml/2fl oz vegetable stock
  • 60ml/2fl oz chicken consommé
  • 3 tbsp cream
  • lemon, juice only
  • small pinch sugar

For the broad beans

  • 25g/1oz broad beans
  • 15g/½oz butter
  • salt and sugar, to taste

For the morels

  • 3 morels
  • 4 tsp chicken consommé
  • 15g/½oz butter
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Shopping List

Butter poached lobster, spiced carrot purée and lemon verbena sauce

Fruit and vegetables

Cooking ingredients

Dairy, eggs and chilled

Meat, fish and poultry


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