Butter poached Isle of Wight lobster with garden beetroot and Russian salad

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This lobster recipe by Matthew Tomkinson has a wonderful fusion of summery ingredients. The poached lobster features a beautiful Russian salad of beetroot, carrots, green beans, turnips and asparagus that pairs well with the buttery crustacean.

First published in 2015
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Poached lobster

Russian salad

Homemade mayonnaise


  • Thermometer


Cook the beetroot for 1-2 hours, depending on size, until tender, in boiling salted water. Place a few circles of the beetroot onto your serving plate and top with a small portion of the Russian salad mixture
Start by preparing the lobsters. Put the lobsters in a freezer. This will render them insensate. Boil some water and add a dash of white wine vinegar. Once the lobster is insensate, place it on its back with its claws tied and hold it firmly by the top of its head
Place the tip of a very sharp chef's knife on the head just beneath its mouth, lining the blade up with the lobster’s midline with the blade side pointed toward its tail. The first cut should be directed forwards toward the head, and the second backwards down the midline towards the tail
Pierce the lobster’s head downward, then place the knife tip just to the body side of the junction of its tail and thorax and cut through the midline. The procedure must not take more than 10 seconds. For diagrams and more detailed information, visit the RSPCA’s website
Once the lobsters are dead, pull each head away from the tail and pull the claws off. Cook the tails in simmering water for 3 minutes and the claws for 5. Put both into iced water for 5 minutes. Drain
Remove all the flesh from the cooked body and tail. Crack the claws and extract all the flesh. Roughly cut the claw meat into chunks, and keep the tails as whole as possible. Chill the flesh until needed
Melt the butter in a small saucepan and bring up to 60°C using a thermometer, then drop the lobster tails in and gently poach for 6 minutes
To make the mayonnaise blend eggs, vinegar and mustard and slowly add oil until thick. Season with lemon and salt
Cook the vegetables whole in boiling salted water, refresh and then dice into 1cm pieces. The turnips and carrots will take 4 minutes, the asparagus and beans 2 minutes. Bind the cooked vegetables and lobster claw meat with the mayonnaise and season with a little lemon juice and salt
Place a few slices of the beetroot at the base of the plate, top with the Russian salad. Place a ½ tail of the lobster on top and glaze with a spoon of the leftover butter. Squeeze over a few drops of lemon juice and sprinkle with the sea salt
First published in 2015

Matthew Tomkinson’s elegant and highly accomplished food earned him a Roux Scholarship in 2005, as well as Michelin stars at The Goose and The Montagu Arms. He now cooks classically influenced comforting dishes at Betony at The Kings Head in Wiltshire.

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