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Aug 24, 2009 05:42 AM

Lobster stock

Can someone share a good lobster stock recipe with me. The pasta recipe I'm trying to make calls for lobster stock with added cream and saffron. The photo looks reddish as though it may have tomoto paste in it? Thanks in advance. with appreciation, curly :0

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  1. I use lobster bodies and shells, adding about 2 cups of water per lobster. Add mire poix (chunks of onion, carrot and celery) and simmer for at least 3 hours.

    The vivid red color is produced by the oils in the shell (oils=flavor!). It is not produced by the addition of tomato products.

    1. If you are a stickler for authenticity, you'll need to make your own as shaogo explains - sometimes you can get shells for free from seafood markets or restaurants because you don't get much stock per bug, once it's boiled down to concentrate the flavor. If not, or if you want to intensify the strength of your homemade, you might try Superior Touch Better Than Bouillon lobster base. Most supermarkets carry their chicken, beef, and veg bases but some carry more, and they are available online. I recently bought the lobster base (Market Basket in Nashua NH) but haven't yet tried it. I do like their chix and beef bases.

      1 Reply
      1. re: greygarious

        hmm..."bisque quick"? if there's lobster meat in the dish, might as well use the shells and make stock.

      2. I use a Jasper White lobster stock recipe and he uses a tin of Italian tomatoes ,,,, makes a very tasty stock!! It's from his book, "Lobster at Home." Very simple and very easy.
        The recipe is on pg. 57.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Gio

          Yes, his recipes are my go-to also, love that book! I make the Quick Lobster Stock on p 57 you mention, or if I have more time, I'll make the Savory Lobster Stock on page 54.

          In fact, just made a batch of his lobster stock last month, using the shells from his Grilled Lobster.

          Pic of Jasper White's Grilled Lobster with Garlic Oil, p. 42

          Pic of Savory Lobster Stock, p. 54:

          (BTW, highly recommend his Baked Stuffed too, p. 162):

          1. re: Gio

            I agree with Gio. I use Jaspers recipe. when I eat lobster, I store the bodies in the freezer til I have a few to make stock. once the stock is made, you can make bisque, lobster risotto etc.

          2. i'd guess that the recipe you have is a two-stepper--make the stock, then make the sauce using the stock as a central ingredient. i'd be inclined to use some tomato paste in building the sauce but to refrain from using tomato in the stock per se.

            my approach to the stock is kind of like shaogo's--

            for 6 cups
            break up the lobster shells, claws, etc. 2-4 lobsters

            cook out a mirepoix of 1 onion, 3 carrots, 3 sticks celery in 3 tbs butter (s/p)
            add 4 fresh thyme sprigs, 2 bay leaves
            deglaze with 1/2C white wine
            add lobster shells etc and cook until pinkish (s/p)
            add water, (8 C) bring to boil then simmer allowing liquid to reduce to 6C
            strain thru a collander, pressing the solids.
            discard the solids and move on to sauce

            23 Replies
            1. re: silverhawk

              I am also planning to make lobster stock from the wonderful shells we had the other night. What do you mean, cook the shells until pinkish? They are already cooked and pink. Do you mean, until the liquid is pinkish? Please explain.

              1. re: Phurstluv

                for clarity--think 5 minutes on the shells. you're right, of course, the color change won't be as dramatic as it is with raw shrimp shells. there 27 million ways of handling the stock. among the significant variations is the level of reduction. my suggestion results in a moderate reduction. for some applications you might want to reduce by a full half.

                some folks add tomato juice to the stock. i generally avoid declarative ingredients in the stock because i usually intend to freeze a couple of cups for an unknown future use.

                1. re: silverhawk

                  Got it, thanks for the help, I probably won't be making this until the holidays, but do appreciate it!

                  1. re: Phurstluv

                    that's will power. i couldn't wait that long.

                    1. re: silverhawk

                      Well, they're in the deep freeze, and we've had our fill of steamed & lobster rolls for 3 days now!!

                      Plus, bisque is a cold weather food, and it's still 90+ degrees at the pool here in So Cal. So, no not in the mood for bisque, just yet.

                  2. re: silverhawk

                    " for clarity--think 5 minutes on the shells. you're right, of course, the color change won't be as dramatic as it is with raw shrimp shells"

                    I think there is some confusion there. Phurstluv is using lobster shells from cooked lobsters. There will not be any color change. Stock is usually made from un-cooked shells. You can certainly use shells from cooked lobsters but you will need more shells to get a good stock.
                    A few comments on some items from up-thread. If you are going to buy lobster base to enhance your stock look for Minor's or RL Schreiber's. You should be able to find them in a one pound tub with the other base in the cooler section in specialty markets.
                    Most restaurants will not give out shells. The liability is simply too great.
                    If you use whole Maine lobsters (from a few of the Eastern states) consider if you want to remove the tamalley. There have been some issues with them being toxic enough to cause health concerns in the recent past.

                    1. re: Fritter

                      I am unfamiliar with Schreiber's but have used Minor's chicken and beef bases, which are available in warehouse club stores. IMO, and that of other CHers, the Better Than Bouillon chicken and beef bases beat the Minor's hands down. Less salty, and the hydrolyzed soy protein is farther down on the ingredient list than is the hydrolyzed corn/wheat/soy protein in the Minor's. I have not yet tried their lobster base - also, it's 8 ounces, which may make more sense for the OP's purposes.

                      1. re: greygarious

                        Custom Culinary bases beat them all hands down, if you can find it. Well except maybe Schriebers veal base. Great to have these bases on hand, not just for "emergencies", but also to add a spoonful to things like Fra Diablo sauce to (sorry I hate to say this) kick it up a notch.

                      2. re: Fritter

                        re: Fritter:

                        Indeed the lobster shells won't change color, but when the volatile oils are extracted from them, they pool at the top of the stock, a deep red color.

                        There is no use for the tomalley in lobster stock. It's too fishy. Some people enjoy it, some do not. I was not aware, however, of any toxicity issues.

                        1. re: shaogo

                          "Indeed the lobster shells won't change color"

                          That exactly right with pre-cooked shells. In regards to the oils you loose at least some, if not the majority when you pre-cook shellfish. Shellfish stock is typically started with raw shellfish for that reason. This is why I suggest more shells if working with a pre-cooked product. Adding Minors or Schreiber's base can be very helpful as well. Any base should be mixed on the side so you can let it rest a moment allowing the impurities to settle on the bottom. This may also help some from using too much base and getting a salty end product.
                          I can't comment on the "Better Than Bouillon" brand as I have not used that product nor have I ever seen it in a professional kitchen.
                          The issues with the toxicity of the tamalle is fairly recent but some may want to consider that before making stock.
                          I'm not sure I agree with the tamalle being overly "fishy" . I'm certain you will find many recipes with and with out the tamalle. The same with the use of a tomato product.

                          1. re: Fritter

                            Thanks for clarifying things for me even further.

                            Yes, I am using shells from lobsters we've already cooked & eaten. Yes, they were "Maine" lobsters from Canada actually, Atlantic. The tomalley was already discarded. Since we had six, I only saved one or two bodies, didn't have enough room for all of them in the deep freeze. However, from the bodies I discarded, I did tear off the smaller legs on all, b/c we had so much meat, we didn't bother to suck it out of those. Those will be in the stock, as well as some tail & claw shells. Will that be adequate to make a decent stock? Thanks again for your help!!

                            1. re: Phurstluv

                              I have made lobster bisque for 2 using the bodies of 2 cooked lobsters (the hard shells but not the gills etc), and there was lots of lobster flavour in it.

                              I agree with shaogo that there is no use for the tomalley in the stock. The tomalley is intended for the "chef" to cook and greedily devour in the kitchen. My wife recently told me about the toxicity issue, but she was not around a couple of days ago when I prepared lobster, so was not able to stop me from eating it :)

                              I cooked the lobsters in cream and tarragon, then strained the solids out in order to make a sauce. Instead of discarding the solids I ate them....heaven !!

                              1. re: Phurstluv

                                "Will that be adequate to make a decent stock"

                                Two pre-cooked bodies on their own is not enough to make a good stock with out the addition of base or more shellfish. The problem is you have to use enough water to cover the shells. Technically you could do it but it would be a good bit of time and reduction for a very small yield.
                                Maybe you could save your raw shrimp shells in the future and then incorporate them into your stock as well.
                                Even if you don't have enough to make a nice full flavored stock you could certainly simmer them, strain and then use that light broth to make risotto or jambalaya or even paella. While your stock might be weak it will be better than adding plain water.

                                1. re: Fritter

                                  hey! fritter.
                                  do you think lobster body still has flavor once almost all fleshes in its nooks and crannies got removed?

                                  1. re: hae young

                                    I've never used shells like that. I think the flavor would be reduced considerably but you never know until you try.

                                  2. re: Fritter

                                    Okay, then it looks like we'll have to have more lobster again, since I'm not planning on making the stock until after T'giving. Oh well, have to suffer through it! ;)

                                    1. re: Phurstluv

                                      Sounds like an awfull problem! :-)
                                      Lobsters here have been running $6 a pound this summer.
                                      We have had more lobster rolls this summer than any time we have been to Maine!

                                      1. re: Fritter

                                        Wow, what a great price!!! When my local store gets them down to 9.99/lb, you have to order them right away, they usually run out within a few days! Nobody wants to go further inland to the ethnic or fish markets downtown to get a better price - sad huh??!

                                        1. re: Phurstluv

                                          $6 a pound is the lowest price I have ever seen and they have been averaging 1.25#.
                                          I've had to get there right as they open to get them.
                                          I feel bad for the lobstermen this year but I'm doing my part to help! :)

                                          1. re: Fritter

                                            Last week Market Basket (MA supermarket) had an instore special of $4.99 - live or steamed on request.

                                              1. re: greygarious

                                                I get culls all the time for $3.99, and/or the loose claws. Great if presentation isn't an issue!

                                      2. re: Fritter

                                        what if i use the base that is extracted from the boiling and steaming liquid?
                                        when i use the reserved luquid from boiling, it was quite flavourful fro the bisque.