Leftover Heaven: How to Make Rich, Tasty Lobster Stock

Lobster Stock
bokchoi-snowpea/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
  • 2 hrs 30 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 2 hrs 15 mins
  • Yield: 1 gallon

It isn't every day you get a chance to enjoy the richness of lobster meat, and with the critters being so expensive, every cook should have a recipe to make use of the leftover bodies and shells. This recipe is for lobster stock, but you can concentrate it and add a bit more salt to make a rich lobster broth, too. Use this as a soup base or for a fantastic lobster risotto -- or just have a cup of it on a cold day. It freezes well for up to six months.

What You'll Need

  • 2 to 4 lobsters (bodies and shells)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 4 stalks celery (chopped)
  • 3 carrots (chopped)
  • 1 bulb fennel (tops, chopped)
  • 4 to 5 tomatoes (plum, chopped)
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup white wine (or dry sherry)
  • 4 tablespoons parsley (chopped)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 gallon water

How to Make It

Break the lobster shells into small pieces. Open the bodies and remove the gray, feathery gills. Remove the sand sac from between the eyes. Crush the bodies so they fit in a large stewpot.

Heat the olive oil in the stewpot and saute the onions, celery and carrots over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the lobster and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the garlic, fennel and mushrooms, mix well and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the parsley, bay leaves and tomatoes, then the wine or dry sherry.

Mix well and cook until the alcohol largely burns off the wine, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add enough water to cover everything by 2 to 3 inches.

Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Simmer gently for at least 90 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Cook until it tastes full-flavored, and then strain. Do this by turning off the heat, then grabbing all the big chunks with tongs and tossing them in the trash. Strain the rest through a fine-meshed sieve with a piece of cheesecloth set inside it.

Pour into quart-sized Mason jars or some other container. This will keep for up to 10 days in the fridge or six months in the freezer.