This halibut with lobster sauce is very decadent and delicious. I love halibut as it’s such a versatile fish with a real firm, meaty flesh. The lobster sauce is time-consuming but well worth the effort as it tastes divine. This recipe is not everyday but is perfect for a special occasion. Serves 2.
For the sauce:
- 1 live lobster (I used a frozen lobster)
- 100ml olive oil
- 4 tbsp very finely diced carrots
- 2 tbsp finely diced shallot or onion
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 50ml cognac or armagnac
- 300ml dry white wine
- 300ml fish stock
- 220g very ripe tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and chopped
- 1 bouquet garni including sprig of tarragon
- 60g butter
- 10g flour
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 75ml double cream
- salt and pepper to season
For the fish:
- slug olive oil
- 300g halibut steak
For the sauce:
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Rinse the lobster under cold running water and plunge into the boiling water for 45 seconds. (Miss this step if you buy frozen).
- Separate the head, body and cut the claw joints and tail into rings across the articulations. Split the head lengthways and remove the gritty sac close to the feelers, along with the dirty white membranes. Scrape out the greenish coral from inside the head and reserve in a bowl. Season the lobster with the salt, pepper and cayenne.
- In a deep frying pan or shallow saucepan, heat the oil on the hotplate until it is sizzling hot. Add the lobster pieces and sauté until the shell turns bright red and the flesh is lightly coloured. Remove the lobster pieces from the pan and place on a plate. Pour most of the oil from the pan.
- Sweat the carrots and shallots in the same pan until soft but not coloured. Add the garlic and return the lobster pieces to the pan. Pour in the cognac and light with a match.
- Add the wine and fish stock, then add the tomatoes, bouquet garni and a little salt. When the mixture comes to a boil, move to the simmer plate and cook gently for 15 minutes.
- Remove and reserve the claws and rings of lobster tail that contain the meat. Cook the sauce gently for another 30 minutes, skimming it every 15 minutes.
- Mash the reserved lobster coral, butter and flour with a fork and add to the sauce a little at a time. Cook for another 5 minutes and then add the cream. Pass the sauce through a conical strainer, pressing it through with a spoon.
- Remove the reserved lobster meat from the shell, dice and add to the sauce before you serve.
For the fish:
- Heat the oil on the hotplate. Season the halibut.and sear on each side for around two minutes. Transfer pan to the top oven at 200ºC and cook for around ten minutes until the fish is translucent and tender.
- Remove and place on a plate. Pour on the lobster sauce. Serve with sautéd spinach, tender stem broccoli and roasted or crushed new potatoes.