Lobster, triple-cooked chips and Béarnaise sauce

  • medium
  • 2
  • 60 minutes
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This lobster recipe is a fabulously indulgent and romantic dinner for two from Shaun Rankin, with the rich sweet flesh of the crustacean enhanced by the tangy, buttery sauce. Chips are a classic potato recipe, and these triple-cooked chips are fantastically crispy, and can complement a number of other dishes.

First published in 2015
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Triple cooked chips

Béarnaise sauce


  • Deep fat fryer


Start by preparing the lobsters. Put the lobster in a freezer. This will render it insensate. Boil some water. Once the lobster is insensate, place it on its back with its claws tied and hold it firmly by the top of its head
  • 1 Unknown ingredient
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 lobster is dead, pull the head away from the tail and pull the claws off. Cook the tail 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. Chill the flesh until needed, and reserve the claws for serving
Next make the Béarnaise. Clarify the butter by melting it in a in a saucepan. The butter will separate, leaving a milky residue on top. Using a spoon, carefully remove and discard the residue
Underneath you should find golden liquid butter. Pour this off slowly into another pan, leaving the milky water at the bottom of the pan behind
Place the vinegar, white wine, crushed peppercorns, shallots, tarragon stalks and bay leaf into a saucepan. Reduce until you have 2 tablespoons of liquid left, remove from the stove and allow to cool, then strain
Half fill a saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Put the egg yolks and vinegar reduction into a mixing bowl, place it on top of the boiling water and start to whisk the eggs
Remove the bowl every 10 seconds to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Continue to whisk the yolks until they have doubled in volume and become very light
Pour the warm clarified butter into the sauce little by little – if you add it too fast, the sauce will split. If you think the mix is getting too thick, add 1 teaspoon of hot water
Let it cool down then carry on whisking the butter until it is all incorporated. Add the chopped tarragon leaves and lemon juice and season the sauce with salt and pepper
Next make the chips. Preheat the oven to 100°C/Gas mark 1. Heat the deep-fat fryer to 50°C
  • 500ml of vegetable oil
Wash the chips in cold water and dry well in a clean towel. Blanch the chips in the deep-fat fryer for 5 minutes. Spoon out onto a tray lined with greaseproof paper
Put the chips in the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes until cooked – check by pushing the tip of a knife through them, they should be soft but still have no colour
Increase the heat on the deep-fat fryer to 180°C. Add the butter to a warm frying pan and wait until it starts to foam. Add the lobster and then the lime juice
Take off the heat and leave the lobster meat in the pan to finish cooking through
Place the chips back in the deep-fat fryer or saucepan and cook for 4-8 minutes until they are golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper
To finish, slice the lobster meat and put back into the shells. Season the chips with salt and serve with the Béarnaise sauce
First published in 2015

Shaun Rankin’s cooking exudes effortless self-confidence.

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