Maine Lobster and Peasant Bread Stuffing
1/2 pound flageolet beans* (soak 3 hours in water at room temperature)
1/2 gallon water
4 tablespoons salt
1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
2 bay leaves
2 Maine lobsters,1 1/4 pounds each
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, diced
3 sprigs of thyme
1/4 cup white wine
3 cups ice cold water
1/4 pound pancetta, medium dice
6 whole shallots peeled, large dice
1/2 loaf of peasant bread - Pain de Champagne (reserve other 1/2 for eating)
1/2 cup cognac
8 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bunch flat parsley, chiffonnade
2 teaspoons fresh grated nutmeg
To taste, salt and pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- For the Beans: Remove beans from soaking liquid. Place in a pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and let simmer until al-dente.
- Drain and let cool on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- For the Lobster: Add the water, salt, white distilled vinegar, and bay leaves to a pot and bring to a boil. Blanch the lobsters for 3 minutes.
- Remove and place into ICE WATER, for 1 minute.
- Pick the claw, knuckle, and tail meat from the shells, save the shells. Keep the knuckles and claws whole, cut tails into medallions.
- For the Quick Lobster Stock: Using thick bottom sauté pan, over medium heat, cook the reserved lobster shells in a little bit of olive oil or clarified butter if you have it. Sauté the lobster shells over medium to high heat until the shells have turned red.
- Add the shallot, thyme, and peppercorns. Sauté for an additional minute then carefully deglaze the pan with white wine, reduce by 2/3 and add the ice-cold water. Simmer for 20 minutes strain and set aside. I recommend straining this twice.
- To Assemble: Using a thick bottom sauté pan over medium heat, render the pancetta until it starts to become crisp around the edges, then add your large dice of shallots and slowly caramelize them.
- Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes or tear it for a more rustic look, and add to the shallots and pancetta, turn up the heat and begin to toast the bread stirring constantly.
- Turn the heat down to low, add the cognac, 1/2 cup of the Quick Lobster Stock, and the beans. At this stage, your "dressing" should be starting to cook down.
- Add your lobster, herbs, seasonings, and butter. Cook for an additional 20 minutes and serve.
Makes 6 servings.
*Or substitute with navy beans or other small white beans.