Poached Lobster with Tarragon Beurre Blanc

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45 minutes 2 Servings Print RecipeEmail Recipe


1 onion (quartered)
10 peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 whole clove
1 live maine lobster (1 1/2 pounds)
4ouncegreen beans (very thin, trimmed)
1⁄3cupdry white wine
3 shallots (minced)
1⁄2cupunsalted butter (cold, cut into 8 pieces)
  freshly ground pepper
  fresh tarragon (chopped)


Fill large saucepan two-thirds full of cold water. Add onion, peppercorns, bay leaf, clove, and salt to taste. Heat, covered, to simmering. Add lobster, adjust heat to maintain bare simmer. Simmer, partially covered, until center of tail meat is opaque when probed with small knife, about 7 minutes. Drain in colander.

Cook green beans in medium saucepan of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes; transfer to colander to drain; cool to tepid.

Combine wine and shallots in small saucepan; heat over medium heat to boiling. Boil until liquid is almost completely evaporated, about 5 minutes; remove from heat.

Prepare lobster meat. Twist off tail; cut through underside of shell with sharp knife or kitchen shears. Remove tail meat in one piece. Using nutcracker, crack claws just below base of pincer; remove claw meat in one piece. Remove meat from 2 joints of each claw with small pick; slice tail meat crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Set claw and tail meat aside; reserve body and leg meat for other use.

To prepare sauce, return wine reduction to very low heat; add one piece of the butter, whisking constantly. When almost incorporated, add another piece. Continue procedure until all butter has been incorporated. (Sauce should be creamy and of half-melted consistency; if butter begins to melt too quickly and becomes oily, remove pan from heat immediately and whisk in next 2 pieces of butter.) Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour half of sauce into each of 2 warmed serving plates. Arrange slices of tail, overlapping, over sauce in crescent shape on each plate. Place claw meat and joint meat inside crescent. Spread beans in fan shape around edge of each plate. Serve immediately.


If very thin green beans are unavailable, cut thicker beans lengthwise in halves or quarters.

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