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Lobster in Cognac and tomato sauce

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for lobster in Cognac and tomato sauce.

By Lisa Featherby
  • 40 mins preparation
  • 30 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
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Lobster in Cognac and tomato sauce
This is our version of the classic homard à l‘Américaine, inspired by a Julia Child recipe. Invest in a good Cognac, and take care with the flambéing – it adds a touch of theatre, but you don’t want your hair to catch fire. We’ve cooked the lobster heads as well as the tails and claws for extra flavour and dramatic presentation, but you can leave the heads out if they don’t fit in your pan. Serve this with bread or steamed rice and a crisp green salad.


  • 3 small live lobsters (200gm each), killed humanely
  • 120 gm softened butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 1 small carrot, finely diced
  • 6 golden shallots, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 120 ml Cognac
  • 375 ml dry white wine
  • 150 ml fish stock
  • 3 vine-ripened tomatoes, blanched, peeled and diced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1½ tbsp French tarragon leaves


  • 1
    Cut each lobster in half lengthways, remove the tomally, or coral, from the head and set aside. Cut off tails and set aside. Remove claws, crack with the back of a knife and set aside with tails and heads.
  • 2
    Process tomally and butter in a small food processor to combine and set aside.
  • 3
    Heat olive oil in a large wide saucepan over medium heat, add celery, carrot and shallot and stir occasionally until tender (5 minutes). Add lobster and garlic and stir to combine. Stand away from the pan, carefully add Cognac, then set alight with a match (make sure your face and body are well away from the pan because the flames will shoot upwards). Shake pan occasionally until flames subside. Add wine, stock, tomato, tomato paste and two-thirds of tarragon, season to taste, cover and stir occasionally until lobster is bright red and just cooked through (5-7 minutes)
  • 4
    Remove lobster from pan and keep warm, then cook sauce until reduced to 500ml (1315 minutes). Remove pan from heat, stir in butter, return lobster to pan, stir to combine, scatter with remaining tarragon and serve hot.


This recipe is from the July 2012 issue of .
Drink Suggestion: Heady white Condrieu or Eden Valley viognier Drink suggestion by Max Allen

  • Author: Lisa Featherby