While lobsters have taken on a stature of their own over time, they will always be those meals that made growing up in New England special, casual and fun. Almost too casual, as we would have to put on bibs and make a real mess – an exercise that really was not in my father’s wheelhouse.
We made lobster parties a family effort, from going down to the docks and buying the lobsters directly from the boats, to steaming and de-shelling them, to making a platter of lobster meat, tarragon butter and corn. The process below is not only a bit cleaner, it’ll allowed us to put the shells to work, making great stock to be used for months to come.
- Shells and carcasses of 6-8 lobsters
- 4 carrots, rough chopped
- 4 celery stalks, rough chopped
- 2 onions, quartered (red or white, or a mix)
- 1 head of fennel, quartered
- 2 garlic heads, cut oil half (down the middle, exposing all the cloves)
- 12 sprigs of tarragon
- 12 sprigs of thyme
- 6 sprigs of rosemary
- 12 quarts of water
- 1 1/2 tablespoon of kosher salt
- Throw everything in a pot, bring to a boil, and lower to a simmer for three hours. Skim the top occasionally. Let cool for a few hours before straining (and find a convenient dumpster to get rid of the shells).
- Use immediately, or freeze up to 3 months.