One of the most exquisite ways to eat fresh lobster, but for perfection the lobster must come straight from the sea.
Cook the lobsters following the method, steaming them until they are just beginning to change colour and are speckled with red.
As soon as they are cool enough to handle, split them in half and extract all the meat from the body, tail and large and small claws. Scrape out all the soft, greenish tomalley (liver) from the part of the shell nearest the head and put it with the firmer meat into a warm bowl wrapped in a tea-towel.
Heat the lobster shells. Cut the meat into chunks, melt half the butter and when it is foaming toss the meat and tomalley in it until the meat is cooked through and the juices turn pink.
Spoon the meat into the hot shells. Put the remaining butter into the pan, heat and scrape up any bits. Add a squeeze of lemon juice. Pour the buttery juices into small heated ramekins and serve beside the lobster on hot plates. Garnish with sprigs of watercress, flat-leaf parsley or fennel, and lemon segments. Hot buttered lobster should be eaten immediately.
© 2001 Darina Allen. All rights reserved.