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The Hirshon French Lobster with Tomatoes and Herbs – Homard à l’Américaine

  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • 2 (1 1/2-pound) lobsters, strong preference for females
  • 9 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 9 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup Cognac
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lb. ripe tomatoes, chopped and juice reserved
  • 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup lobster or shrimp stock or use clam juice or use TFD’s preference – a scant 3/4 cup shellfish stock, a scant 1/4 cup chicken stock and 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. veal demi-glace
  • 1/3 cup dry vermouth – TFD prefers Noilly Prat brand
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh chervil (strongly preferred) or parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon (if using chervil as noted above, cut tarragon to 1/2 Tbsp. and add 1/2 Tbsp. chopped basil)
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • lemon juice, sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper and cayenne
  • 1 large baguette or other crusty loaf
  • Chopped fresh chervil and basil or parsley and tarragon for garnish


  1. Quickly and humanely kill lobsters by positioning the tip of a chef’s knife in the center of the head and plunging the blade in between the eyes.
  2. Working over a shallow bowl to catch juices, break off and crack claws. Cut each lobster tail into thick slices. Remove heads. (Save for making stock, if desired.) Cut body shells in half; remove and discard the intestinal tube which is exposed when the body of the lobster is cut open; reserve coral and tomalley and all the juices left in the bowl.
  3. Combine butter and olive oil in a thick-bottomed frying pan; add lobster pieces and sauté for 5 minutes. Remove and reserve.
  4. Sauté finely-chopped carrot, onion, shallots and garlic in the same pan until onion is transparent. Place lobster pieces on the bed of vegetables; pour over vermouth and simmer for 3 minutes. Add warmed brandy and flame.
  5. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaf, lobster liquids, clam juice or stock, herbs, peppercorns and salt, to taste. Cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove lobster; keep warm. Simmer tomato sauce, uncovered, until slightly reduced. Blend in the tomalley and coral, creamed with 1 Tbsp. each flour and butter, and simmer until thickened; add reserved lobster juices, simmer 1 minute. Strain the sauce and flavor to taste with lemon juice, salt, pepper and cayenne.
  7. Transfer lobster and sauce to a deep serving platter and garnish with fresh herbs. To serve, divide among wide, shallow bowls and provide slices of crusty bread for sopping up the sauce.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
  • Category: Recipes


  • Calories: 1233.74 kcal
  • Sugar: 15.19 g
  • Sodium: 2105.08 mg
  • Fat: 66.15 g
  • Saturated Fat: 24.13 g
  • Trans Fat: 1.23 g
  • Carbohydrates: 69.88 g
  • Fiber: 8.72 g
  • Protein: 71.83 g
  • Cholesterol: 510.17 mg