Lobster Stock

Active Time:
3 hrs 5 mins
Total Time:
13 hrs 30 mins
2 yield quarts


  • 4 pounds frozen unseasoned cooked whole crayfish

  • 3 pounds lobster shells (from 6 (1 1/4-pound) whole lobsters), cleaned and cut into 3-inch pieces

  • 4 teaspoons canola oil

  • 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced (about 5 cups)

  • 2 large carrots, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 2 medium celery stalks, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

  • 2 medium leeks, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)

  • 2 medium fennel bulbs, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)

  • 8 garlic cloves

  • 1/2 cup tomato paste

  • 4 cups dry white wine

  • 4 cups dry white wine

  • 4 thyme sprigs

  • 4 tarragon sprigs

  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns


  1. Separate crayfish heads from tails, reserving 8 whole crawfish for garnish. Remove tail meat and reserve. Reserve tail shells. Separate any attached legs and gills from head. Reserve heads; discard leg portion. Clean shells under running water; drain and transfer crawfish and lobster shells to a rimmed baking sheet. Chill, uncovered, overnight.

  2. Heat oil in a 12-quart stockpot over medium-high. Add lobster and crawfish shells; cook, stirring often, until evenly browned and shells turn dark red, 10 to 12 minutes. Add onions, carrots, celery, leeks, fennel, and garlic; cook, stirring often, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly with a flat wooden spoon, 4 to 5 minutes. Add wine; cook until reduced to 1 cup, 12 to 15 minutes. Add ice, thyme, tarragon, and peppercorns; bring to a simmer over medium. Simmer, uncovered, about 55 minutes.

  3. Simmer stock 30 minutes, skimming off any impurities or fats that rise to the top. Strain mixture through a chinois or fine wire-mesh strainer; discard solids. Wipe stockpot clean. Return stock to pot and cook over medium-low until reduced to 2 quarts, 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Strain again and chill until ready to use.

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