Don’t all raise your hands at once…. I’m talking Lobster Poutine here. If you take the leap and make this recipe, you’ll be thanking me later and your people will be thanking you; trust me.
A good friend of mine, upon hearing that I would be serving this at a dinner we were having at the house, told me that I was up against some stiff competition when it came to my lobster poutine game. The reason being that he regularly travels to Canada’s east coast where seafood is a way of life and he has often had the pleasure of enjoying this lobster “twist” on a Canadian classic.
After trying my version he was convinced that I could hold my own but what I think really sold him was the gravy. You see, in his east coast experiences, lobster poutine is served with the typical chicken and beef gravy with Lobster on top. No offence to the east coasters of Prince Edward Island but in my opinion this is not quite lobster poutine but rather poutine with lobster. In my version, the gravy is made with lobster stock and that’s where I believe we take this dish to a whole other level!
Let’s dive into this one shall we…?
Prep time: 3 hours
Cook time: 30 minutes
Special gear required: A large stock pot and a kitchen thermometer for measuring oil temp
- 1 1-1.5 lb lobster
- 1 Sweet onion
- 2 Carrots
- 2 Celery stalks
- Black Pepper
- 1 Can of lager beer
- 2 Liters of water
- 2 Large Russet potatoes
- 1 Cup of fresh cheese curds
- 1 Pack fresh tarragon
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 1 Olive oil drizzle
- 1.5 Liters vegetable oil
Directions: (Lobster stock)
To make your lobster stock begin by boiling a large pot of salted water. How salty should it be? Remember that last time you took a swim in the ocean? It should be about as salty as that mouthful of waves… I ask the fish monger to chop and clean the lobster for me when I am planning on making this stock and it saves a lot of time. Place the lobster in the boiling pot. This will be quick so be ready. You only want to boil it enough to just cook the meat and have it separate from the shells. Also you don’t want to have your lobster flavor leach out of the shell. Cook for about three minutes and you will notice the shells turning bright orange. Remove the lobster from the pot. The meat will continue to cook as it cools.
Once the lobster has cooled enough to be handled, remove the meat from the shells and set aside in the fridge for later. Clean all the innards from the head and body cavity of your lobster shells because you do not want this in your stock. Wash and roughly chop your carrots, celery and onion and tarragon*. Set the chopped tarragon aside for later. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the stock pot and brown the stock veggies. This will add another depth of flavor to the stock once it’s finished. Use 2 liters of fresh water and add the beer to the stock pot once the veggies have browned a little. Crank up the heat just until the liquid comes to a boil. Add 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of pepper and the lobster shells to the stock pot and turn the temp down to med heat. Cover the pot with a lid and let simmer for 2 hours. The trick here is to simmer, not boil and keep the lid on. This way you will keep the liquid from evaporating. Next step… strain and boom, lobster stock!
*Tarragon and lobster go together like music and busting a move, so combine often!
By the way, this also can be used for bisque, chowder or other soups and even risotto!
Now that you have created lobster stock, you may have to deal with feelings of culinary grandeur. Use this new-found power and make a roux… Melt the butter in a saucepan. Once the butter has melted, add the flour and mix until fully combined with the butter. This will be your gravy thickener. Add 2 cups of your lobster stock slowly by whisking the liquid into the roux. Season as you go if the gravy needs more salt or pepper to taste.
Start by taking the cheese curds out of the fridge. You want these to be room temperature when served so that they get all melty and gooey and stuff! Wash potatoes thoroughly so that you don’t have to peel them. I believe it adds to the crispiness* when you leave the skin on. Slice them to your favorite thickness because this is your show! Place the slices in a bowl of salted water as you go and this will prevent the potatoes from going brown. Heat the vegetable oil to 350 Fahrenheit. Make sure you pat dry the blanched fries with paper or tea towel because you don’t want to put water into hot oil (this will cause the oil to flare and splash potentially causing burns). Add the blanched fries to the oil and fry until golden brown and the fries start to float. this should take about 8-12 minutes depending on how thick the fries are. Strain onto a paper towel to get rid of access oil. Toss hot fries with a little salt and the some of the chopped tarragon. Top with the squeaky cheese curds, lobster meat and hot lobster gravy and sprinkle any leftover tarragon over top for garnish.
*I always blanche my fries to maximize the crispiness so bring a pot of salted water to a boil and drop your fries in for 2 minutes.
This is definitely one of my favorite creations and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! I like to pair this dish with a cold lager beer but if beer is not your thing, my wife tells me it’s also very brightly paired with a cool glass of Viognier.
Let me know what you think in the comments section and follow us for more recipes and stories every few days!
Petey Pabs out…