Jean-Luc’s Langoustes à l’Armoricaine

Jean-Luc’s Langoustes à l’Armoricaine

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6
Great for: dinner parties or holiday meals
Wine Suggestion: Bandol Blanc or a Cassis Blanc

For the Sauce:

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and roughly minced
3 shallots, peeled and roughly minced
3 cloves garlic, peeled, de-germed, and finely minced
2 medium carrots, peeled, and shredded or sliced in thin rounds, about 1 cup
1 cup tomato purée
1/2 cup tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon tomato paste
5 cloves
2 sprigs of thyme, leaves only
5 peppercorns
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
2 bay leaves
1/2 flat parsley, finely chopped, plus extra for garnish
1 tablespoon Madras curry powder
1/2 cup Cognac, Armagnac, or brandy
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Lobster:
1 lobster tail per person, thawed if frozen*
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Cognac, Armagnac or brandy

First, prepare the sauce**. In a large pot, melt the butter, adding a splash of olive oil. Add the onion, shallots, and garlic, cooking until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the tomato purée, the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, cloves, thyme, and peppercorns. Stir. Add the wine. Add the bay leaves, parsley, thyme leaves, and curry powder. Stir. Season sauce with salt and pepper and more Cognac. Let simmer for 10 minutes while preparing the lobsters.

In a large pot (or two, if needed), melt the butter, adding a dash of olive oil. Place the lobster tails in the pot, turning them over. Once the shells are a red or orange color, add 1/4 cup of Cognac, light a long kitchen match, and flambé– keep a lid handy in case the flames rise too high and you need to snuff the fire out***. Once the flame settles down, add the lobster tails to the sauce. Simmer for half an hour on a low flame, seasoning with salt, pepper, and a dash or two of Cognac to taste. Remove bay leaves. Garnish with parsley and serve with steamed rice.

*A cheaper alternative to lobster is monkfish or extra-large shrimp, which can be used if cooking large quantities for a smaller price tag. Cook accordingly and add to the sauce.
** If you are serving more than six portions—do not double the ingredients for this recipe. Add about an eighth more of each ingredient per serving. And don’t throw the leftover sauce out; it’s amazing on pasta.
*** Flambée at your own risk. Please be careful – we’re talking fire here.

Bon app! And bisous!


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