This rich, sweet, slightly tangy broth not only makes a great base for bisque, it also can be reduced and served over steamed fish, prawns, even filet.
- 5 (1 1/2-2 lb.) fresh Maine lobsters, shells cracked, tail meat removed and saved for another use, gills removed and discarded.
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 carrots, peeled, trimmed, and chopped
- 2 ribs celery, trimmed, and chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 head garlic, cloves separated, peeled, and chopped
- 1⁄4 cup brandy
- 3 (28-oz.) cans whole peeled plum tomatoes
- 1⁄2 cup tomato purée
- 2 tsp. black peppercorns
Preheat oven to 450° Put lobsters into a large roasting pan and roast until shells turn bright red and begin to brown in places, 35-40 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, onions, and garlic and cook, stirring often, until vegetables begin to brown, 20-25 minutes. Add brandy and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until alcohol has evaporated, about 1 minute.
Add tomatoes, tomato purée, peppercorns, and 20 cups water to pot. Transfer lobsters and rendered juices to pot. Add 1 cup of liquid from pot to roasting pan, scrape up any browned bits stuck to bottom of pan, then pour back into pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 2 hours. Strain into a large bowl, pressing on solids; discard solids.