Lobster with Sauternes Gelée

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield: 2 cups , enough to accompany



Appears in


By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About


live lobsters 4 4
natural veal or chicken gelée stock enough to cover enough to cover
finely chopped parsley (optional) 2 tbsp 30 ml
sauternes (or to taste; see note) ½ cup 125 ml
salt and pepper to taste to taste


  1. Kill the lobster by inserting a knife under the bottom of the carapace and rapidly pulling it forward. Separate the heads, tails, and claws of the lobsters. Remove the stomach sacs and save any juices that run out, but leave the tomalley and coral in the lobster.
  2. Tie the lobster tails together with string in sets of two or slide skewers along the inside of the tails, between the flesh and the membrane along the base of the tail. (See photo; this keeps them straight while they are cooking, making it easier to slice even medallions.)
  3. Combine the lobster sections, lobster juices, and the gelée stock in a large saucepan; the parts should be completely covered with the gelée stock. Bring the stock to a slow simmer and poach the lobster parts until they turn red, about 4 minutes after they reach a simmer.
  4. Turn off the heat, remove the lobster parts, and let them cool slightly. Remove the meat from the claws and tails, reserving it to serve with the gelée. Coarsely chop the lobster shells with the end of a European rolling pin or a cleaver, and return them to the hot gelée stock.
  5. Gently cook the shells for 20 minutes. (The chopped shells should flavor and clarify the stock.)
  6. Strain the gelée stock through cheesecloth, stir in the parsley, if using, and let it cool to room temperature.
  7. Add Sauternes to taste; the exact amount will depend on the particular Sauternes being used.
  8. Check the gelée’s flavor and consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Chill the gelée. If the gelée is too thin or refuses to set, add some reduced gelée or commercial gelatin.
  9. Slice the reserved lobster meat into medallions and chill. Spoon over enough of the barely set gelée to coat the medallions. Slide the medallions into the fridge or freezer for 5 minutes to allow time for the gelée to set up. Repeat the process, coating the lobster with more gelée, until all the gelée is used up.