Lobster Risotto by Chef Chris LaVecchia

Preparation / Mise En Place:

     Put fresh lobster broth into a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low & simmer. Watch that the stock does not reduce too much.

     In a large pot, bring about 1 gallon of water and about 8oz of white vinegar to a boil. 

Put 4 bowls into a warming oven, or above the stove to keep hot.

Prepare an ice bath. 

     Place a small rack on the stove & turn it on high. Place 1 red pepper on the rack to roast. Rotate the pepper to roast each side. When the pepper is finished roasting, place it into an ice bath. Once chilled, remove from the ice bath. Skin & seed the roasted pepper. Discard the skin, seeds & innards. Julienne & small dice the roasted red pepper. Set aside for risotto.

Small dice 1 shallot. Set aside for risotto.

Prepare an ice bath.

     To kill the lobster, place the point of a chef’s knife at the top center of the head of the lobster. Drive the blade of the knife down through the face of the lobster. Place lobsters into a heat-resistant container. When the water & white vinegar mixture comes to a boil, turn off the heat & pour the boiling liquid over the lobsters, until fully submerged. Let the lobsters steep for about 3-5 minutes. Take lobsters out & place them into an ice bath.

     Once chilled, extract the lobster meat from the claws, tail & arms. Set the meat aside. Using a rolling pin, extract the meat from the legs & set the meat aside to make the lobster tuiles. 

     Remove & discard any innards & place all shells into a container for stock. Place the head & antennae into a bag to make another batch of lobster butter.

Clean station. On a tray lined with parchment paper, put all mise en place, garnishes & finishing salts, and prepare for plating.

Join us in this culinary adventure Chef Chris LaVecchia is inviting us on by sharing with us the preparation of this delicious plate. From generating the Lobster Stock, to the creamiest Lobster Butter; this journey will take us to the finished dish: Lobster Risotto and the finishing touches of the Beurre Monte.

Lobster Stock Ingredients

  • 5 lbs lobster bodies, about 4 whole 1.25lb lobsters 
  • Olive oil, about 2-3 ounces
  • 1 cup peeled & diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced white onions
  • 1 cup diced leeks, white & pale green parts only
  • 3/4 cup diced fennel, white part only
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 oz brandy
  • 8 oz white wine
  • Cold water, as needed
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 3 sprigs tarragon
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns & 1 tbsp white peppercorns 1 fresh bay leaf


  1. Scrape & discard the gills from the sides of the bodies. Remove & discard the innards. Quarter the clean bodies. Reserve 2 lobster tails for the lobster risotto.
  2. In a large stock pot, heat the oil over high heat. Roast the lobster bodies in the pot until they are evenly caramelized, about 10 minutes.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Add the carrots, celery, onions, leeks, fennel, and garlic & sauté until tender, about 7 minutes. Add the tomato paste & sauté until caramelized, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the brandy & white wine and reduce by half. Add cold water until everything is fully submerged. Add the thyme, tarragon & peppercorns. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  5. Skim off any oils or impurities that rise to the top. Simmer for about 30-40 minutes.
  6. Prepare an ice bath. Strain through a chinois. Chill the stock over the ice bath. 

     Reserve refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 30 days. Extract all the meat out of the lobster bodies. Finely chop & reserve for lobster ravioli filling.

Lobster Butter Ingredients

  • 4-6 lobster heads & antennae, thoroughly rinsed
  • 1-2 oz oil
  • 20 g tomato paste
  • 1 lb butter
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup peeled & diced carrot
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup diced fennel, white part only
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs tarragon
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. In a food processor, chop the lobster heads until broken into small pieces. Heat the oil in a saucepan over high heat. Roast the crushed lobster heads in the oil, stirring occasionally until browned, about 7 minutes. Add the tomato paste & sauté for 2 minutes.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium, and add in the butter, onions, carrots, celery, thyme, tarragon & bay leaf. Bring the butter to a simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat. Cover with plastic wrap. Let the butter steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
  3. Strain the butter through a chinois
  4. Return to a clean saucepan & simmer for about 15 minutes, whisking occasionally to prevent the milk solids from browning.
  5. Once the butter is clear, strain it through a coffee filter to remove the milk solids. Let it cool at room temperature.

Reserve refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 30 days.

Lobster Risotto


4 lobster tails

4 lobster claws

Arm, knuckle & leg meat, rinsed & diced

Lobster broth, for risotto & beurre monte

About 1/2 – 1lb of butter for beurre monte

Lobster butter, as needed

1 shallot, peeled & small diced

About 1/3 cup carnaroli rice, rinsed

1 red bell pepper (roasted, skinned & seeded), small diced

About 1/2 tsp Persian saffron

About 1/2 cup of white wine, pinot grigio

Baby arugula, small hand-full

Kosher salt, to taste

Saffron sea salt, for finishing


  1. Bring the lobster stock back up to a boil. Add boiling stock to the risotto as needed. Reserve the rest for Beurre Monte.     
  2. In a medium sauté pan, on low heat, add 1 tablespoon of the lobster butter & melt. Add shallots & sweat, but do not brown for about 2-3 minutes. Add in the saffron, and sauté for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the carnaroli & additional lobster butter if needed, and sauté for 1-2 minutes to lightly toast the carnaroli and to absorb some of the butter. 
  3. Turn the heat to high. Add in the white wine. Reduce until almost fully absorbed. Turn heat to medium, adding hot lobster broth as needed, until cooked 3/4 of the way. Stirring frequently.
  4. When the risotto is almost done, turn the heat to high. Add in the diced red pepper & remaining lobster meat (arm, leg & knuckle). Add additional stock, a touch of lemon juice, and finish the risotto.

Taste & season with salt as needed.

Once the risotto is ready to be served, fold in some baby arugula so that it is slightly wilted. 

Beurre Monte or Poaching Liquid

  • About 1 quart of lobster broth
  • Lobster butter as needed
  • Unsalted butter, as needed (about 1/2lb – 1lb)
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Cut butter into chunks. In a small sauté pan, bring the lobster stock up to a simmer. Add the chunks of butter a little at a time, whisking constantly to incorporate. Be careful to maintain the emulsion.
  2. Keep on medium to low heat before poaching the lobster tails & claws. About 5 minutes before the risotto is ready to be served, place the tails & claws into the poaching liquid, on low heat, being delicate to not break the lobster meat.
  3. Poach the claws for about 30 seconds to finish cooking, flipping over about halfway through.
  4. Poach the tails for about 45 seconds to 1 minute, flipping halfway through. Turn off the heat.
  5. Take the tails & claws out of the poaching liquid, and place them onto a small tray lined with parchment & paper towel to drain off any excess liquid.

To Finish

Place any remaining stock & Beurre Monte into a heat-resistant container.

Spoon the risotto into the center of the hot bowls.

Place the poached tail on top of the risotto.

Place the poached claw off to the side.

Pour some of the beurre monte into a small container. Using a small pastry brush, dip into the liquid & brush over the tail, to glaze. Repeat the process for the claw. 

Freshly grind the saffron sea salt onto the tail & claw.

Place some of the lemon foam off the side of the claw in between the risotto & claw.

Place the lobster tuile in between the tail & the claw sticking out of either the risotto or the foam.

Garnish with micro-greens & flowers.

Connect with our August 2022 Chef of the Month
Instagram: @chefchrislavecchia TikTok: ChefChrisLaVecchia
Website: www.chefchrislavecchia.com

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