Wood roasted lobster and scallops with wild sorrel sauce

This is one of the best ways to enjoy fresh seafood. Cooking the lobster over the fierce heat of an open fire gives it a fantastic flavour. Of course, all this can be done in your kitchen at home but it's much more fun on the beach, particularly if you have spent the afternoon foraging for the ingredients!

Lobster

 

Ingredients

Serves 6

  • 2 medium lobsters
  • 6 hand dived scallops cleaned, shells reserved
  • 50g butter
  • 300g fresh wild sorrel, larger leaves stripped from the stalks, roughly shredded
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons double cream
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Firstly, make a nice hot fire using a combination of hard wood and charcoal. You will need a grill that will sit over it.

Prepare your lobster for cooking by putting it in the freezer for 1 hour.

Remove the sedated lobster from the freezer and put it on a large board with the head towards you. Place the tip of a sharp, heavy knife on the cross that you'll find at the top of the lobster's head and press down firmly, cutting through the head towards you.

Turn the lobster round so the tail is now facing you, carefully cut from the split in the head down though to the tip of the tail in one firm motion. Try and keep the blade central so you end up with two even halves.

Remove the sand sack that lies behind the eyes and the dark vein that runs throughout the tail.

Thread the scallops on to a couple of kebab sticks and season with salt and pepper.

Season the two cut surfaces of the lobster and trickle with a little olive oil. Put the lobster halves, cut side down, on to the bars of a grill set over the fire. The embers must be white-hot, so as to get the caramelised flavour you're after and after 4 - 5 minutes, add the scallops and turn the lobsters over. Cook for a further 2 - 4 minutes or until the tail and claw meat is cooked through and the scallops are golden but just cooked on the inside.

If you plan to do this in the kitchen at home use a hot, hot grill to cook the lobster and a pan to sear you scallops.

To make the sorrel sauce

Place a sauce pan over the heat of the fire; add the butter and the finely diced shallot.

Cook the shallot for 2 - 3 minutes without colouring.

Add the shredded sorrel leaves and cook, turning them in the butter, until they begin to wilt and darken - this will happen pretty quickly.

Add the cream and cook for a minute or two to reduce the juices a little, and then season with salt and pepper.

Thin the sauce down slightly with a spoonful or two of Bowmore 12 Years Old.

To serve, take the meat from the lobster shells and divide between 6 clean scallop shells. Add a scallop to each shell and spoon over the hot sorrel sauce.

Eat straight away with fresh bread.

Foraging Tip

Sorrel is one of the commonest and most easily collected of wild foods. Available all year from roadsides and pasture it is best in the spring and autumn when fresh "basal" leaves can be collected in abundance.

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