Recipe of the week: 34’s Lobster Macaroni

Situated in the heart of London’s prestigious Mayfair, 34 is somewhat of a modern classic among those in the know. Rivalling the likes of Scott’s on the nearby Mount Street, 34 serves up an eclectic array of seasonal food, as well as a number of meat, fish and shellfish dishes on a custom-made, Argentinian grill. For our Recipe of the Week, we turned to the Mayfair establishment and they came up trumps. For a more luxurious yet-no-less-complicated take on a classic macaroni, you’ll want to check out 34’s Lobster Mac. Here’s how it’s done.

Serves 4

2 lobsters x 600g, cooked, flesh removed and shells retained for sauce
300g macaroni
100g Panko breadcrumbs mixed with 100g mature grated Cheddar
1 small bunch flat leaf parsley (including stalks), finely chopped
Maldon salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. You may need to cook the lobsters in two batches, according to the size of your largest saucepan. Plunge them into the boiling water and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the water and leave to cool. Once cool, remove lobster meat from the shells ie tail and claws (retaining shells for the sauce). Chop into good-sized pieces and set aside.

Ingredients for the lobster sauce:

Lobster shells
Extra virgin olive oil for frying
½ carrot, peeled and finely diced
½ stalk celery, finely diced
1 shallot, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
½ bunch tarragon stalks
20g unsalted butter
50ml double cream
1 tbsp tomato purée
2 tbsp plain flour
100ml white wine
200ml fish stock (a good quality stock cube or vegetable stock cube will do)
Maldon salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

For the lobster sauce, in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, fry lobster shells, shallots, carrot, celery and garlic in the olive oil over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, until they begin to colour lightly. Add tarragon stalks and tomato purée, and stir well. Add butter and melt. Add the flour and stir well. Gradually stir in the white wine and hot fish stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes until the sauce has reduced by half. Add the cream, stir well. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 15 minutes, until the sauce has reduced by half and has a thick consistency. Strain through a sieve into a bowl, pressing the shells with a spoon to ensure all the sauce goes through. Keep warm.

Ingredients for the cheese sauce:

400g mascarpone cheese
200ml double cream
100g grated Parmesan
Maldon salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

For the cheese sauce, bring the double cream and mascarpone to the boil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add Parmesan and simmer for 5 minutes. Season. Liquidise until smooth. Keep warm on one side.

Pre heat the oven to 200°C / gas mark 6.

Put a large saucepan of water on to boil. Add a tablespoon of salt to the boiling water. Add the macaroni and cook for 10 minutes so that it comes out slightly al dente. Drain the pasta and put into a bowl. Add the lobster pieces and parsley and mix. Then add the cheese and lobster sauces and mix well. Transfer to an oven-proof dish. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes; remove from the oven and sprinkle the Cheddar and breadcrumb mixture over the top. Put back into the oven to crisp up for a further 5-10 minutes. Serve with a crispy green salad. If you’re feeling very decadent, you can shave some Périgord truffle on top!

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Further Reading