You will love these exquisitely tender butter poached Maine lobster rolls with brioche and fresh aioli. For our homemade aioli, we used the roe sacs with tarragon, lemon and olive oil to perfectly compliment the lobster.
The traditional lobster rolls from New England is served with lobster, the bread roll and butter or mayonnaise. We wanted to keep it as simple as possible to pay homage to this classic. After all, it is all about the lobster.
BUTTER POACHED LOBSTER
One of the biggest challenges with lobster is serving it both hot and as tender as possible. I have worked in kitchens that have steamed, grilled and butter poached. If you see our post on butter poached lobster, we talk about our preference for this method. The original lobster rolls were made by poaching the lobster meat in drawn butter. Slow cooking makes all the difference with this type of dish. Cooking the meat by boiling or steaming can cause the meat to seize up and toughen. This results in a chewy almost unpalatable texture. For this recipe, see our method for butter poached lobster.
This is pretty straight forward. You want your lobsters live and kicking. Wherever you purchase your lobsters from, it is important to get them home and stored in the refrigerator as soon as possible. Healthy lobsters could survive 2-3 days in cold storage, but we recommend cooking lobster within the first 24 hours. Most fish markets will sell lobster in two sizes basically small and large. Smaller lobster are around 1 pound – 1-1/4 pounds. Larger lobsters will be in the 2+ pound range. As a rule I prefer smaller lobsters as they are easier to work with and the cooking times are more accurate.
This is the method we followed for preparation:
- Par cooked the lobsters (see method on Butter Poaching Lobster post)
- Extracted the meat and roe then cleaned the shells
- Prepared the aioli
- Started lobster dashi stock with the shells
- Prepare the beurre blanc for butter poaching
- Poached the lobster meat
- Make the lobster rolls for lunch
- Completed the stock and refrigerated (See our posts on lobster dashi stock and lobster bisque)
LOBSTER ROE CHIVE AIOLI
I started with live Maine lobsters that I purchased specifically to make lobster rolls. Locate the roe sacs which should be black in uncooked lobster. Remove then steam or bake the lobster roe till fully cooked. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes because you don’t want to overcook the roe. Once it turns a bright red color, the “coral” or cooked roe is ready to eat. I added a little bit of extra virgin olive oil to the roe after I cooked it so it would not dry out. Set roe aside or refrigerate till ready to use.
Add all ingredients except for olive oil, chives, salt and pepper to a blender or food processor. Blend on high till all ingredients are well combined. Reduce the blender speed to a medium and pour the olive oil into the blender in a slow steady stream. This will create an emulsion the same as mayonnaise. If it is thin add more olive oil 1/4 cup at a time to thicken. If the aioli is too thick, add warm water 1 tablespoon at a time. Season with salt and pepper then fold in the chives. Keep refrigerated. Shelf life is 1 week.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Brush the brioche buns liberally with butter. I used the beurre blanc butter sauce that was used to poach the lobster meat with the buns. Alternatively, you could use unsalted butter or clarified butter if you cooked the lobster using another method. However, I highly recommend butter poaching. Bake the brioche buns until they are warmed through. This takes approximately 3 minutes.
IF you need to re-heat the lobster drop it in the poaching liquid for 30 seconds. This is assuming that your butter poaching liquid is around 140F. OR you can heat in a small sauté pan over low heat until the lobster is warmed through.
*Tasting Notes: When the lobster is butter poached from a semi-raw state, the poaching temperature should be maintained at 140F give or take 5F.
Fill the bottom of each bun with 1 tablespoon of aioli. Fill the buns with the lobster meat. Top each roll with aioli then serve with lemon wedges.
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Crowd Cow sources sustainable meats including seafood. Good for your body and Good for the planet. This Lobster is sourced from Ready Brothers Seafood. “Founders John and Brendan Ready grew up as working lobstermen on the Maine coast; as a company, (they) remain committed to sustaining the lobster fishing industry and preserving its resources through industry stewardship and research conducted by (their) on-staff marine biologist.”