Lobster stew can be made with just three ingredients – lobster, butter and milk. I grew up on this simple version, made occasionally by my mother from left over lobster meat.
Simple seafood stews and chowders, as I wrote in my article on Julia Child’s lobster bisque, are staples in many homes and most restaurants along Maine’s rocky coast. The famous chef Jasper White even described lobster stew as “mother’s milk” for Downeast families in his book, Lobster At Home. It is our ultimate comfort food.
Recently I have had the opportunity to experience and experiment with more dynamic versions of lobster stew, which use cream, stock and sherry to add richness and depth to the dish. I have had the pleasure of dining at the Harraseeket Inn in Freeport and enjoying their award-winning lobster stew. It was so good it gave me goose bumps. When I asked the waitress what the secret was to achieving such an exquisite taste she replied, ‘it’s all that sherry!’
I have also constructed my own version of lobster stew, inspired by various descriptions of the popular Jordan Pond House recipe. While stock and cream certainly contribute to the below recipe’s flavor, it is the sherry, in combination with the lobster, that plays the starring role. Especially when you are working from previously frozen lobster meat as I often have to do, a healthy dash of sherry helps lift the flavor of the lobster and take the stew to a new level of lusciousness.
|Ingredients for a delicious lobster stew.|