August 20, 2008

Butter-Poached Lobster Tails

This was a first for me... but I will make lobster this way again, I guarantee. This was just too amazing. Tender and sexy. Delicious. Try it... you'll love it.

1 lobster tail, per person, shells removed.
Non-salted butter, cut into small chunks
1 tablespoon water

Determine how much butter you will need by placing the lobster tails in a large enough pan, side by side; add just enough water to cover. Immediately remove the lobster tails, drain them, set aside; and measure the water in the pan. You will need this amount of butter to cover and poach the tails.

When you are about an hour from serving the lobster tails, take them out of the refrigerator and bring them to room temperature.

To make the Beurre Monte:

Definition of Beurre Monte: Butter is an emulsification of 80% milk fat, 18% water, and 2% milk solids. Heating butter above 160 degrees will cause it to "break" or separate into its different composition parts. A Beuree Monte is a techniques of keeping melted butter in an emulsified state between 180 degrees and 190 degrees, which is sufficient to poach meats or vegetables.

In a saucepan, bring the 1 tablespoon of water to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat to low and begin adding the chunks of butter (a little at a time) whisking to emulsify. Once the emulsion is started, more butter may be whisked in faster. Hold the temperature of the Beurre Monte between 160 and 190 degrees for poaching. DO NOT BOIL OR THE MIXTURE WILL BREAK! The mixture should have the consistency of a very thick butter sauce. NOTE: Beurre Monte can be set aside on the stove after being prepared. You should use the beurre monte within an hour after you make it.

When ready to poach the lobster tails, use a thermometer and bring the beurre monte up to at least 160° degrees, but not over 190° degrees. Depending on how large and how many lobster tails you are preparing, will determine how long to poach them; it usually takes from 5 to 7 minutes. They should not be rubbery but of a soft consistency (almost as if not completely cooked). The lobster should be white and not very opaque in color. When done, remove them from the Beaurre Monte and serve.

Recipe credit to: Thomas Keller and his French laundry cookbook


  1. oh...stop my beating heart!
    okay, I've always wanted to say that but never really had a chance before. Sounds silly, but hey, it's true! My mouth is watering for lobster now.

  2. Kitchen girl, this is so simple and delicious looking. It's making me drool!

  3. this is cruelly tempting. looks amazing.

  4. debbie... thank you! I'm flattered that you got to say it with my lobster :)

    Tom Aarons... thank you so much!

    maybelle's mom... thanks! I don't mean to be cruel ;)

  5. That is 1 fine looking lobster tail! im drooling.

  6. Salt N Turmeric... why thank you Ma'am :) By the way... what is your name? I wanna call you something other that Ms. Salt N Turmeric *wink*

    You can call me Jo ;)

  7. Oooo! Did you find someplace to buy the lobster tails out of the shell or did you do it yourself? And if you did it yourself, did you blanch them? I've really wanted to try this but I very rarely buy butter since I'm the only one who eats dairy in our house.

  8. Maggie... My fishmonger removed the shell for me, but I know others who have done this recipe did in fact blanch the tails enough to remove the shell before finishing the tails off in the beurre monte.

    And something I should probably have mentioned in the recipe... I needed over 4 lbs of butter to poach 3 tails (at once.) I did it in a porcelain lined cast iron casserole on the stove top, which meant it was deep but not too wide... perhaps if one poached in something wider and more shallow, you'd not need quite so much butter.

  9. Farina... what a beautiful name :) yes... mine is Jo, you got it!

  10. Rebecca (Foodie With Family)August 23, 2008 at 4:24 PM

    I'm only hugely jealous that you live somewhere with a bonafide fishmonger. I don't think an Amish guy on the side of the road with a cooler counts, does it?

    Well, I am going to Cape Cod soon. Perhaps, and perhaps, and perhaps there is a butter-poached lobster tail in my future!

  11. Rebecca... oh I feel you.... my fishmonger isn't local... at all. In fact to get to the guy I have to drive nearly an hour. The lil podunk town I live in doesn't have anything but a Wal*Mart! But for lobster it was worth the drive and the ice and the ice chest to bring it home.

  12. What a great way to describe lobster:
    "tender and sexy" Thanks for sharing.

  13. Food Hunter... thanks :) It was sexy, mmmhmm ;)

    Jenn... thanks! :)

  14. everything you do and cook is sexy.....nice job there lil girl. guess im gonna have to make this soon.

  15. jayde... aww you are too sweet Mama :) Hey, send me your yahoo ID again... I never see you online anymore. *kisses*

  16. You're an inspiration! I now want all my food to be drenched in butter.


    a.k.a. The Hungry Mouse

  17. Jessie... it looks divine and sexy and oh-so-good! Thanks for the mention too :) Yum! Butter is porn ;)

  18. This looks delicious! I've cooked lobster several times and found it extremely difficult. Apparently even professional chefs have problems with it. Check out the story of a pastry chef in Palm Beach, FL who got roped into cooking lobster the unconventional way:

  19. @ Devin Anne... thanks for the comment.

  20. Just finished making this for the first time... thank you so much for the tutorial, they turned out perfectly.

    1. Lindsay I'm so glad you enjoyed!

  21. I tried this dish last night, and while it wasn't my first time making lobster tails, it was my first time doing it this way. So good! Better than I've even had it in restaurants - I will be making them this way from now on!


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