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John Williams’ Native Lobster, Spiced Carrot and Verbena

John Williams MBE, Executive Chef at the world famous Ritz hotel shares his favourite recipe with us…


  1. For the lobster: Blanche the lobster in boiling water with plenty of salt. Remove the claws and carry on cooking them for 3 minutes. Refresh into iced salted water.
  2. Crack the claws and remove the claw and knuckle meat. Remove the meat from the tail.
  3. Cook the baby carrots with a butter emulsion and a leaf of lemon verbena.
  4. Cut the lobster tail in half, long ways and remove the intestine.
  5. Reheat the lobster tail, claw and knuckle meat at 55°C in a little butter, water, salt for five minutes then remove from bag and glaze in sauce. Cook very gently and do not go above 60°C. This is essential to retain the delicate texture, otherwise the meat will toughen.
  6. For the Spiced Carrot Purée: Dry roast the spices. Wrap them in a muslin. Cook the carrots in the carrot juice, with the spice bag with the lid on the pan.
  7. When the carrots are soft, drain them in a colander. Blend them until smooth, and season with salt and sugar to your taste.
  8. For the Lemon Verbena Sauce: Roast the Lobster carcass in oil and salted butter. Add the mirepoix and spices and cook for about 5 mins until the shell is quite red.
  9. Flame with Armagnac and then add the white wine. Then reduce down until they have turned to a syrup.
  10. Pour in the stock and simmer gently until reduced by 2/3. Add the lemon verbena whole and allow to infuse.
  11. Add the cream, bring to boil and simmer for 5 – 10 minutes.
  12. Pass through a colander, crushing the carcass. Pass through fine sieve and mount the sauce with butter, salt and sugar to taste.