Ho. Lee. Shiiiiiit. I’m patting myself on the back as I write this. It’s hard typing with one hand actually. Modest, huh? The truth is, this sandwich ended up being so brilliant because it was a joint effort between three people and don’t worry, comrades! You won’t go unacknowledged! It started because my boyfriend and I couldn’t stop thinking about the lobster roll at Burger and Lobster which is surely a contender for the best sandwich in London. I think about it A LOT. We don’t have time to go, though, you know what I mean? What with him opening a restaurant and me, with, well my own irons in the fire it’s all just a bit ARGGGGGGGHHHHH! *breathe breathe breathe* ARRGGGHHHHH! And so on.
Managed to find time to buy lobsters though, didn’t we? Huh. Two live lobbys ready for the pot. They went into the freezer as per RSPCA instructions but when they came out were still pretty frisky. This, coupled with the fact they were too big for the pot but were already halfway in by the time we realised made for a rather traumatic experience; that’s me running the length of the flat with my t shirt pulled up over my face screaming ‘No no no no no no no no no!’ while someone else dealt with the situation in a calm and reasonable manner. Another irritating upshot of this kerfuffle was that we didn’t notice the roe on the tail of the female lobster. An obscene amount of roe in fact. The fishermen are supposed to throw these laden lobbys back but had obviously not noticed either, so we ended up cooking the roe. A shame.
Roe ho ho…
Anyway that roe was definitely going into the mayo for extra lobster flavour regardless…but hang on a minute, we are definitely not done with pimping this mayo just yet. Enter, the bisque. We cooked the shells down with a little onion and celery, reducing it good and proper until it was mega intense. The resulting roe + bisque enhanced mayo? I did a little dance. Once mixed with the meat this was the most lobstery-tasting lobster mixture I have ever had the pleasure of lobstering. I’ve taken advice on a method for perfectly cooking lobsters, too, which is to boil them in the pot for 3 minutes, then turn the heat off and leave them in there, lid on, for 7. Absolutely spot on.
I wanted brioche rolls but they were too hard to find in SE London and I sure as hell wasn’t making my own on a week night so we improvised with a loaf of white bread – not the shitty plastic kind but not really good either…the in the middle, very soft farmhouse white kind that is perfect for an egg mayo sandwich. We buttered it, heavily, before toasting it in a skillet on both sides. Just as good. I shit you not.
This is the best lobster sandwich I have ever eaten and yes I am saying it was better than the Burger and Lobster roll. No I haven’t taken leave of my senses. I am actually saying that. The triple lobster flavoured mixture is the absolute nuts. She may not have the looks but boy, she’s got the taste.
There is one downside though. You know how after eating the Burger and Lobster roll you always think ‘cor, I could totally eat that all over again?’ Yeah don’t, that makes you feel sick.
Ultimate Lobster Sandwich (serves 2-4, depending on size of lobsters and level of greed)
2 egg yolks
Vegetable oil, for making mayonnaise
1/2 teaspon Dijon mustard
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 stick celery, finely chopped
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
4 slices of the kind of white bread described above
Butter (I used the kind with salt crystals in it)
Chives, to garnish
For the lobsters:
Put your lobsters in the freezer for 2 hours before you want to cook them. You don’t have to do this, and the evidence for them actually feeling any pain is inconclusive so hey, up to you.
Cook the lobsters by bringing two large pans of boiling water to the boil (or one massive one if you have it). Plunge them in and cover with lids. Cook for three minutes then turn the heat off and leave for 7 minutes longer. Remove them and set aside to cool.
When cool, extract the meat. I did this using a hammer, nutcracker and er, a chopstick. You may have the correct implements. I won’t go into detail here about how to get the meat out as we’ll end up with an essay – there are plenty of guides online if you Google it (I recently came across this brilliant video showing you how to get all the meat out of a lobster – check out the trick with the legs! http://lifehacker.com/the-best-way-to-get-all-the-meat-out-of-a-lobster-483432288). Reserve the shell bits.
For the bisque:
Put all shells into a large clean pan with a splash of vegetable oil plus the finely chopped celery and onion. Fry this for a bit, stirring occasionally. Add about a litre of water. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for half an hour. Strain and then reduce the strained liquid again, until intense and kick ass tasty. You don’t want much left as you’ll be adding it to the mayo. Consider it an intense little flavour bomb.
For the mayo:
Put the egg yolks in a clean bowl and whisk them together with the Dijon mustard. Whisk in the oil, adding a few drops at a time and making sure each bit of oil is fully incorporated before adding the next. As you whisk in more oil and the mayo starts to thicken, you can start adding it in very slightly larger quantities until you are steadily adding it in a thin stream. Do this is an electric mixer to save muscle pain/hassle. Add the bisque and lemon juice. Obviously if you are lucky enough to get roe than add it but chances are, you won’t. Whisk again and season with salt and pepper. You might want to thicken it slightly if it’s too thin at this point.
For the bread:
Cut and butter liberally. I mean LIBERALLY. Heat a skillet (or similar) and toast on both sides until golden brown (not too much).
Chop the lobster meat roughly (not too small, you want nice big chunks). Mix a little of the mayo with the lobster – do this a little at a time – you don’t want too much. Pile it onto the bread. Garnish with snipped chives. Seal with other piece of bread. REJOICE.