Herb-Infused Butter Poached Lobster Tails with a Creamy White Wine Butter Sauce
Oh my, oh my. I feel cheated by the description of this lobster dish because this dish is honestly so much more than lobster tails cooked in “herb-infused” butter. This butter is infused with shallots, tarragon, parsley and garlic…I couldn’t really write that into the description, so I went with “herb-infused.” Ok, so after we infuse the butter, we THEN, poach par-boiled lobster tails in that butter at a low heat (only a few minutes) until they are tender and full of that aromatic butter flavor. THENNNN we take that infused butter (which now has sweet lobster flavor incorporated in it) and use that as the base for our creamy white wine sauce. This recipe really doesn’t take long and it’s such a gourmet treat. Seriously…when you whip these up, you will be shocked at how restaurant-quality your own cooking is and you’ll feel like a badass boss chef.
Love lobster tails, but what if I want the whole lobster?
I don’t recommend poaching the claws, knuckle, etc. in butter because this particular meat is delicate and could fall apart in the butter and absorb too much fat. However, I do recommend poaching the entire lobster for 2-3 minutes (just as I do for the tail in this recipe) then, remove the tails. From here, follow the lobster tail recipe that’s below. For the claws and knuckles, continue poaching in the water until fully cooked. Once the claws and knuckles are cooked, remove that meat from the shell. Plate the tails and then put the claws on the side of the tail. Drizzle a big puddle of the sauce onto both the claws, knuckle meat and the tail and plate like the image below. That’s what I did on Christmas Eve for our family dinner and it was a hit. It’s easier for me to source lobster tails at the store, so that’s why I made the adjustment to this recipe. You are more than welcome to make this sauce and enjoy it with the whole lobster.
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I’m gluten-free, can I still make this sauce?
Of course! Sub the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free starch or flour of your choice. If going for a starch, I would start with 1 tsp to thicken. If it needs to be thicker, add another tsp. It shouldn’t need more than that.
What kind of butter should I be using?
Usually I would say: “the best kind!” but we are infusing it with so much flavor that I would just go for any unsalted butter. Don’t use a cultured butter here because that’s going to yield way more milk solids than a regular butter. Of course, Irish butter is spectacular here….
What kind of seafood stock or broth should I be using? Can I make my own?
I’m not sure if any of you are really asking this question, but I wanted to throw this in here because it’s important!! You can *easily* make your own lobster broth and use it in the recipe. All you do is boil your own lobster tail shells in the poaching water (from the first poach) as you continue to move forward with the rest of the recipe. By the time you get to the sauce, the broth will have enough lobster flavor to add a light touch of it to the sauce. If you go this route, your sauce will be light and bright, but also rich with the butter. If you go with store bought seafood stock, your sauce will have a deeper flavor, since the stock is highly infused with many different kinds of seafoods that will contribute to your sauce. I personally liked this store bought version more, but regardless, it’s going to taste amazing. To be honest, everything else in the sauce is just a guest at the butter’s party.
|4 raw lobster tails|
|3sticks (or 3/4 lb) unsalted butter|
|2 large shallots, sliced|
|3 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped|
|1small bunch fresh parsley|
|3sprigs of tarragon|
|Fine kosher salt, for seasoning|
|For the sauce:|
|2tbsp all purpose flour|
|1/3cup dry white wine|
|3/4cup seafood stock or lobster broth|
|2tsp lemon juice|
|2tbsp half and half|
|Fine mesh strainer|
Fill a stockpot with water and bring it to a boil.
As the water comes to a boil, heat a deep skillet or large sauce pan on medium low heat. Add the unsalted butter to the pan and let it melt. Make sure the butter is not bubbling and that the pan is not too hot, or else the butter will brown or burn. Low is best!
Adjust the heat to low, then add the shallots, garlic, parsley and tarragon to the butter and let it infuse for 15-20 minutes while you continue with the rest of the recipe.
Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl and place it on the counter as close to the stockpot of boiling water that you can.
Poach the lobster tails for 2 minutes then immediately put them into the ice bath. Let them come to temperature for a few minutes until they are comfortable to handle with your hands (probably a few minutes.)
Remove the lobster tails from the water. With kitchen shears, cut down the shell on the back side of the lobster tail. Apply pressure with your hands on the sides of the cut shell to help release the meat from the shell. The lobster tail should easily come out of the shell. Repeat with all of the lobster tails.
With a paring knife, make a shallow slice all the way down the center of the back of the lobster tail. You will probably see a gross looking vein (their digestive tract, yikes!) Remove that vein. Repeat with all of the lobster tails. Then, rinse all of them under cold water to get any excess gunk off of them.
Return to your butter. Taste to make sure the aromatics and herbs have adequaltely infused into the butter. If you want it to taste more like your aromatics, leave it for another 10 minutes or so. Then, add 1-2 generous sprinkles of salt to taste. I recommend doing one pinch, then mixing and tasting. If it's not salty enough, go with a little more. You do not want to over salt this butter as it's the base of the sauce as well. You will know when it tastes "just right" for you!