• 2 live lobsters, each weighing about 750-900g/1½-2lb

  • 85ml/3fl oz olive oil

  • 50g/2oz onion, finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp cognac

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely

  • 750g/1½lb fresh tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped

  • 1 tbsp roughly chopped tarragon

  • 85ml/3fl oz dry white wine

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 600ml/1 pint fish stock


  • 1.

    Cut the live lobsters in half lengthways. Pull each tail section away from the head section and cut each section of the tail into 4-5 pieces.

  • 2.

    Break the claw sections apart and crack each section so that the meat can be extracted easily later. The easiest way to do this is with the thickest part of a large knife.

  • 3.

    Put the olive oil into a heavy-based pan, big enough to hold all the pieces of lobster. Sweat the onion and garlic in the olive oil until they are beginning to soften, then add all the pieces of lobster.

  • 4.

    Turn up the heat a little and turn the lobster pieces over until they are beginning to colour red.

  • 5.

    Add the cognac and let the alcohol boil off. Add the tomatoes, chopped tarragon, white wine, sugar and fish stock. Cover. Leave the lobsters to cook through for about 8 minutes.

  • 6.

    Remove the lobster pieces and keep warm. Return the pan to the heat and reduce the sauce by half.

  • 7.

    When the sauce has reduced, return the lobster pieces to the sauce, heat through, and transfer to an attractive serving dish.

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