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Lobster Stock

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Yields about 6 cups

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 124

When you make lobster rolls, don't throw away the lobster shells; they're a great source of flavor and make a delicious stock, which can be used in lobster bisque and other seafood soups, stews, sauces, or risotto. After extracting the meat, you can freeze the shells until you’re ready to make the stock. Roasting the shells lends an even deeper flavor to this version.

  • 4 or 5 cooked lobster bodies, plus their claw and tail shells
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 large leek, dark green leaves only
  • 6 large garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 3 large sprigs fresh tarragon
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1 1x3-inch strip orange zest
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. cracked black peppercorns

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F.

Split the lobster bodies with kitchen shears or a heavy knife. Remove and discard the stomach sack about 1 inch behind the eyes and the tomalley (the light green part), if desired.

Put the bodies (including the roe if female) and claw and tail shells on a large rimmed baking sheet and toss with the olive oil. Arrange in a single layer and roast in the oven until the shells look slightly bleached and dry, about 20 minutes.

Transfer the shells to an 8-quart stockpot. Add the wine to the baking sheet and scrape up any brown bits. Pour the wine mixture into the stockpot and add 12 cups of water, the leek leaves, garlic, tarragon, tomato paste, orange zest, 1 tsp. salt, and the peppercorns.

Bring to a boil, skimming off any foam. Reduce the heat and cook at a gentle simmer until the stock is full flavored, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

Set a colander over a large bowl and strain the stock, pressing on and then discarding the solids. Cool completely before refrigerating or freezing.

Make Ahead Tips

The stock freezes well for up to 3 months.

Photo: Scott Phillips

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