What a treat today to get a guided tour of the McMullan Shellfish in Glenariffe, Co Antrim.
Beautiful, fresh crab and lobster, freshly caught just offshore between the Antrim Coast and the Mull of Kintyre coastlines, exporting to France, Sweden, Denmark, Portugal and beyond.
Supporting local labour, these hard workers deliver both large and small shipments of top-quality fresh shellfish to award-winning restaurant kitchens all over Europe. What a delight to have it on our doorstep and what a feast it was for our tea this evening. Thank you Alex and John.
The minor matter of cooking and de-meating the lobster is as follows.
The most humane way of killing and cooking the lobster as recommended by Darina Allen who quotes the RSPCA in her Ballymaloe Cookery Course Book is to place the lobster in salted lukewarm water and bring slowly to simmering point.
- Place the live lobster into lukewarm salted water and bring it slowly to the boil. Salt content should be about 4tblsps per 4 pints(2.3L) water although I used a little less.
- Put over a low heat and bring to simmering point. Lobster and crab will die at about 44C(112F).
- The lobsters will change colour at this point, turning from blue to a gradual pink colour.
- Allow 15 minutes at boiling point per pound/450g and 10 minutes per pound/450 after.
- Remove from the water and let them cool until they are at at reasonable temperature for handling.
- I split them in half using a sharp heavy knife and removed the roe and tomalley (green coloured liver). The tail meat will come away easily and you will have to remove the intestinal tract along the back as you would a king prawn.
- Clean out the rest of the half shell thoroughly and chop the meat us and set aside.
- Crack the claws with the back of a heavy knife or a hammer and remove the juicy meat also.
- To serve place the meat chunks back into the half shell for serving, dot with garlic butter and warm through under the grill for a few minutes.
- Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and serve.
When you have mastered the time-consuming art of de-meating a lobster and before you sit down to eat your hard-earned dinner, enjoy a glass of cold prosecco in the sunshine, it tastes so much better when you find it stashed in your brothers bedroom. Thanks Fergus!