It's never been easier to impress!
This deliciously indulgent French Classic is one of our favourites for when the weather turns cold and Christmas is on the horizon. It’s great served as a starter for your guests, laid on a platter or enjoyed in front of a Harry Potter film (nothing quite says Christmas like that last one). Traditionally made with Gruyere, we’ve swapped this out for Raclette for an extra oozy mouthful. It’s also super easy to make and looks very impressive so, give it a go, and you’ll be a pro in no time. Our tails are perfect for this as that’s where most of the lobster meat is and using tails makes it even easier to prepare.
Serves 4 as a main or 8 as a starter. Scale up or down depending on your party size.
- 4 defrosted lobster tails
- 250ml whole milk
- 3 bay leaves
- ½ small onion, thickly sliced
- 6 black peppercorns
- 45g butter
- 15g plain flour
- 50g shallots, finely chopped
- 120ml dry white wine
- 1 heaped tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp chopped fresh chives extra for topping
- Pinch of smoked paprika
- 75g Raclette cubed into 1cm pieces
- Extra raclette for topping at the end.
- 1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- 2. Cut the tails in half lengthways and place on a baking tray. Brush the meat with olive oil and put in the centre of the oven. Bake for 10 minutes until the meat is cooked (it’ll turn white) and leave to cool on the side.
- 3. Add the milk, bay leaves, onion and peppercorns in a small pan over a low heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, then set aside for 10 minutes, covered, for the flavours to infuse.
- 4. While the milk mixture is infusing, remove the meat from the cooked tails and cut it into small, chunky pieces. Put the cleaned-out half-tails in a small baking tray. Preheat the grill to the highest it will go.
- 5. Gently reheat the milk. Melt 20g of the butter in another small pan, stir in the flour and cook for a few seconds to make a roux. Using a sieve, strain 1/4 of the hot milk into the roux and whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk in the rest of the milk, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, occasionally stirring. After simmering, the sauce should have the consistency of thick cream.
- 6. While the sauce is simmering, melt the remaining butter in another small pan on a medium heat. When melted, add the shallots and cook gently until soft and translucent but not browned. Add the wine, turn up the heat and simmer rapidly until the liquid almost disappears. Stir in the white sauce, together with the mustard, chives, smoked paprika and the raclette until well combined. Season with salt and black pepper, tasting to ensure your quantities are correct
- 7. Stir the lobster meat into the sauce, and divide the mixture equally between the cleaned half-shells. Add extra raclette to the top and slide under the grill, then cook for 3-4 minutes until golden and bubbling. Sprinkle with the rest of the chives and serve immediately.
- 8. We love this with a light, green salad and chips if having as a main. We also like enjoying this dish with some crusty bread for a starter.