This delicious Majorcan stew is one of the most impressive dishes we have cooked with lobsters. One of the best things is you can make a large volume of the tomato base sauce you make, mix with lobster shell stock and freeze it. Then you have an amazing base for either a Spanish fish stew or Spaghetti alle Vongole – so much so that I make sure to always keep some on one side for future culinary uses !
- 2 live lobsters
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds tomatoes, cored and cut into eighths
- 1 can tomato paste
- 2 onions, chopped
- 1 small green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- Pinch of sugar
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 4 thin slices whole-grain country-style bread, toasted (optional)
- 4 teaspoons Aioli (optional)
Prepare your lobsters by putting in the freezer until comatose.
While lobsters are cooling in freezer heat a generous amount of olive oil over high heat. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, and bell pepper and cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften. Decrease the heat to medium, season with salt and the sugar, and cook for about 20 minutes until the mixture has thickened.
Process the cooked vegetables to a medium size so it becomes a thick but still textured sauce. Place in a heavy deep pan (caldero) on the lowest heat possible, stirring occasionally to stop it sticking to bottom of pan.
Remove the lobsters from the freezer and dispatch as normal. Find the cross on the central dorsal line where the head meets the tail. Place the tip of a sharp chef’s knife on this cross and swiftly plunge the knife down forwards through the head. The legs will continue to move a bit afterward but the lobster is in fact dead.
Cut the head and legs away from the body and crack open the legs with a rolling pin or hammer. You must also keep any greenish tomalley that you find on one side for this recipe – in a small dish in the refrigerator until needed at the end. Even if you are squeamish – try to include as it sets the flavour off to perfection.
In a small saucepan, combine the heads and legs with water to cover and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to medium and simmer for about 30 minutes to create stock. Strain.
Add the stock to the tomato sauce and bring to boil, adding salt to taste at this point.
Add the lobster claws to the sauce. Larger claws will need cooking for a bit longer, smaller for less. While claws are cooking cut the lobster tail crosswise into 4 pieces and add pieces to saucepan. Cover and cook carefully until the lobster pieces are pink all though and flesh is no longer translucent anywhere. It is around 5 minutes but needs keeping an eye on.
In a mortar, combine the garlic, parsley, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and the tomalley. Pound with a pestle until it makes a paste, then add to the saucepan swirl through and cook gently for 3 minutes more.
Serve with bread/ toast and aioli however you like them best.