Lobster Newburg


Newburg is a traditional New England dish of shellfish in a rich butter sauce flavored with sherry.


  • 3 lobsters (1 ¼ pounds each)

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

  • 2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped

  • 2 medium leeks

  • 4 medium carrots

  • 8 fresh sprigs tarragon

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • ¼ cup dry sherry

  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste

  • ½ cup heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 large egg yolk


  1. Fill a large stockpot 3/4 full with cold water. Set over high heat, and bring to a rolling boil. Prepare an ice bath. Add the lobsters to the pot, making sure that each lobster is completely submerged in water. Cook lobsters about 8 minutes. Using tongs, transfer lobsters to ice bath to cool. Drain lobsters in a colander.

  2. Carefully remove lobster meat from the tails, claws, and legs, being careful to remove any cartilage from the claw meat. Cut the meat into bite-size pieces. Transfer meat to a bowl, cover with plastic, and refrigerate until ready to use. Discard lobster bodies, but reserve the shells from the tails, claws, and legs for making stock.

  3. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add chopped onion and celery to pan. Coarsely chop 1 leek and 2 carrots; add to pan. Add reserved lobster shells, 4 sprigs tarragon, and enough water to cover shells by 3 inches.

  4. Bring liquid to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, skimming surface often, until the stock is flavorful, about 1 1/2 hours.

  5. Prepare an ice bath. Strain stock through a fine sieve, pushing down on solids to extract liquid. Transfer stock to a clean saucepan, and discard solids. Continue cooking stock until liquid has reduced to 2 cups. Remove from heat, and transfer to ice bath to chill. Transfer chilled stock to an airtight container; refrigerate until ready to use.

  6. Split the remaining leek lengthwise. Cut the leek and remaining 2 carrots into 1/2-inch pieces; set aside.

  7. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat. Sprinkle flour into saucepan, and cook, stirring constantly, so mixture foams and forms a paste but does not turn brown, about 2 minutes.

  8. Carefully add sherry, stirring constantly to loosen any flour that has cooked onto the bottom of saucepan, being careful that no lumps form. Add tomato paste and 2 cups reserved lobster stock. Add the chopped leek and carrot to the saucepan, and cook until just tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in cream, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until sauce just starts to thicken, 5 to 6 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Pick tarragon from remaining 4 sprigs, chop, and add.

  9. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolk. Add a ladleful of hot sauce to temper the yolk; whisk to combine. Return mixture to saucepan over low heat; whisk to combine. Remove from heat.

  10. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Fill a large roasting pan with 1 inch boiling water; set 6 six-ounce ramekins into a large roasting pan.

  11. Add the reserved lobster meat to the sauce; stir to combine. Divide the Newburg evenly among the ramekins. Transfer the roasting pan to oven, and cook until the Newburg bubbles, about 25 minutes. Remove roasting pan from the oven, and carefully transfer ramekins to serving plates. Serve.

Cook's Notes

You can cook the lobsters and make the stock (steps 1 through 4) a day ahead.

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