“Mac ’n’ cheese is one of the most famous comfort foods in the world, and I wanted to take it from the everyday to the absolute next level by making it with lobster, which is incredibly delicious, super-special and turns it into a total showstopper. ”
- 1 x 1.5 kg whole live lobster , (or 2 small ones)
- 2 onions
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 50 g unsalted butter
- 1 small pinch of saffron
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 anchovy fillets
- 200 ml white Burgundy , such as Pouilly-Fuissé
- 50 g plain flour
- 1.1 litres semi-skimmed milk
- 2 teaspoons English mustard
- 400 g dried amori pasta , or macaroni
- 70 g mature Cheddar cheese
- 70 g Gruyère cheese
- 70 g Parmesan cheese
- To start, place the live lobster in the freezer for 30 minutes so it’s docile.
- Meanwhile, fill your largest deep pan with water, season with sea salt and bring to a rolling boil. Swiftly plunge the lobster head first into the water, place the lid on and cook for 8 minutes (or slightly less if you’re using 2 small ones). Remove and leave to cool.
- Peel and finely chop the onions and garlic. Get yourself a large ovenproof casserole pan (ideally 30cm wide and 10cm deep) that you want to serve up in. Put the butter into the pan on a medium heat, add the onions, garlic, saffron, cayenne and anchovies and cook for 10 minutes.
- Turn the heat up to high, add the wine and cook it away, then reduce the heat back to medium and stir in the flour, followed by the milk and mustard. Mix well and simmer for 10 minutes while you prepare the lobster.
- Twist the lobster head and body apart – importantly, shake out all the tasty juice and bits from the head into the sauce. Squeeze the tail shell in until you hear it crack, then rip it open the other way to expose all that lovely tail meat. Rip the claws off the body, then use a rolling pin on a board to crack them open and poke out any meat you can find.
- Roughly chop all the meat, reserving the tail, shell and head. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for our helpful video on how to prepare your lobster.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water according to packet instructions, then drain, reserving a little cooking water.
- Remove the sauce from the heat, stir in the pasta and lobster meat and grate in the Cheddar and Gruyère. Mix well, taste and correct the seasoning – you don’t want the sauce to be super-thick now, so loosen it with a little cooking water if needed, remembering that it will thicken as it bakes.
- Finely grate over the Parmesan (I didn’t do it in the picture, but you can add a sprinkling of breadcrumbs before the cheese too, if you like). For a bit of fun, pop the lobster head and tail into the pan at either end. Cook in the oven for about 35 minutes, or until golden, bubbling and delicious.
- Serve with a smile, a big seasonal salad, and a glass of cold Soave.
- Jamie’s Tip A few freshly picked rosemary leaves tossed in a bit of olive oil and sprinkled over the top of the last 10 minutes of cooking will be delicious.
If you ask a fishmonger, pretty much all of them can order in a large lobster and it’ll probably work out cheaper than serving your guests fillet steak, so it’s great for a special occasion – I’m into that, and I’m sure at the right time and in the right place, with the right people, you will be, too.
Source: Jamie Oliver