Fresh lobsters, cooked in a dill-scented stock and served with a rich, lemony mayonnaise makes a simple but impressive Christmas feast. In this recipe Matt Evans uses a meyer variety of lemons as they have a sweet flavour that adds to the coral crustaceans.
- 2 bunches dill
- 110 g salt
- 110 g (½ cup) white sugar
- 2 x 1 kg whole green rock lobsters (see Note)
- meyer lemon halves (see Note) and crusty bread, to serve
- ½ small meyer lemon, juiced, zested
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 125 ml (½ cup) vegetable oil
- 125 ml (½ cup) extra virgin olive oil
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time a few hours
To make lemon mayonnaise, whisk together juice and zest with egg yolks and mustard in a bowl. Add oils in a trickle at first, then continue whisking while you add the oils in a stream, getting faster as you go. Whisk in 1 tbsp cold water. Season with salt and pepper, and, if you have time, refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavours to develop.
Place dill, salt, sugar and 3 litre water in a large stockpot and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add lobsters and cook for a further 8 minutes or until lobster shells have just turned orange. Remove from heat, stand for 5 minutes and remove lobsters from broth. Cool, then, using a large, sharp knife, cut lobsters in half lengthwise and rinse 'mustard' from head. Serve with lemon mayonnaise and lemons for squeezing.
• Rock lobsters (saltwater crayfish) can be bought green (raw), cooked or live. If using live, place lobsters in the freezer for 2 hours to put them into a stupor before adding them to the boiling water; this is the most humane way to cook them.
• Meyer lemons are commonly grown in home orchards and backyards. Substitute any other lemon variety.
Photography by Alan Benson.
As seen in Feast magazine, December 2011, Issue 4. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.