Butter-Poached Lobster with Steel-Cut Oat Risotto ~ Savory Simple

I like to think this recipe is a perfect romantic dinner for New Years Eve.  It was inspired by my recent visit to Bryan Voltaggio’s TABLE 21 at Volt Restaurant.  The meal consisted of 21 small, intricate plates prepared directly in front of us.  Everything was delicious and beautifully presented.  I’m not sure my description would do it justice but I did find this wonderful blog entry about the experience, with photos.   The menu changes daily so my meal was slightly different, but this will give you an idea about what dinner is like at Table 21.  One of the mini entrees we were served was butter poached lobster with steel-cut oats, honeycap mushrooms, kombu, and fresh yeast.  My recipe doesn’t have nearly that much excitement, but I hope you will enjoy it nonetheless.

Butter Poached Lobster with Steel-Cut Oat Risotto
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2-3 servings
  • 2-3 fresh lobster tails
  • 2-3 cups clarified butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced finely
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1½ cups chicken stock
  • 1½ cups veal stock (alternately, you can use just chicken stock)
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • ¼ cup white wine (I used Chardonnay)
  • ½ cup fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
To Poach the Lobster:
  1. In a small saucepan, heat the clarified butter to 160 degrees F. This will be well below a simmer. The size and shape of your saucepan will dictate how much butter you will need. You only need enough to just cover the lobster tails. Also, you can poach without a thermometer but your results will be more consistent if you monitor the heat. Any kitchen thermometer will do, but I love to get fancy here and use my infrared thermometer
  2. Prep the lobster: using kitchen shears, cut a straight line through the center of the shell along the bottom of the tail. Try to avoid cutting into the meat too much. This will keep the tail from curling while it cooks and will also make removing the shell much easier after the cooking is complete.
  3. Poach the lobster for approximately 7 minutes, or until the shell is red and the lobster meat is just opaque. Monitor the temperature regularly and move the pan on and off the heat as needed. When cooked, the lobster should be soft, not rubbery.
  4. Allow the tails to cool briefly and then carefully and slowly separate the meat from the shell.
To Make Steel-Cut Oat Risotto:
  1. Heat up your stock to a boil, then turn down the temperature slightly.
  2. Cover a pot or sautoir with just enough clarified butter to coat the bottom (1-2 tablespoons). Sweat the onions and garlic with a pinch of salt for several minutes.
  3. Add the oats and turn up the heat. Stir occasionally and let the oats toast a bit for a few minutes.
  4. Once the bottom of the pan starts getting a light glaze, deglaze with the wine, stirring briefly. After the wine has mostly soaked into the oats, add a ladle of hot stock.
  5. I don’t believe in constant stirring. I’d rather let the bottom of the pan glaze up, so I only stir right after adding the liquid. After that I give the pan a shake periodically to keep things loose. On medium heat, add one ladle of stock at a time and let the liquid absorb almost completely before adding more. Steel-cut oat risotto takes longer to make than regular risotto, approximately 30-35 minutes or until the oats are soft.
  6. Begin taste testing the oats for doneness when the stock starts getting low. The oats should be soft and not overly chewy. If necessary, turn the heat down to low to allow them to continue cooking while stirring until the reach a good consistency. Season with salt and a bit of pepper. When the rice is ready, add the Parmigiano Reggiano.
  7. Ladle the risotto into serving dishes. Top each with a lobster tail, garnish with parsley and drizzle with clarified butter.


  • http://mymansbelly.com MyMansBelly

    I’ve wanted to try making butter poached lobster for the longest time and just haven’t. Your post have given me the push I need to just do it already. It looks beautiful.

  • http://rufusguide.wordpress.com Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide

    Wow, that sounds like quite the meal and this looks like quite the meal too. I haven’t used oats in risotto, and find the idea intriguing. This is just wonderfully executed.

  • thesweetkitten

    Please, can you come to Brussels and make this for me? :-)

  • http://drawandshoot.wordpress.com drawandshoot

    OH YES! :)

  • http://mamasgottabake.wordpress.com Mama’s Gotta Bake

    Gorgeous dish!

  • http://teamgaither.wordpress.com teamgaither

    Thanks for the blog love. Your recipe sounds amazing. Will try!

  • http://maddogtvdinners.wordpress.com Mad Dog

    That looks terrific. I had lobster in a cheese sauce on Christmas Eve and I was very glad I made the effort ;-)

  • http://www.seattlefoodshed.wordpress.com Seattle Foodshed

    I’ve been wanting to do some butter poaching, and this is very inspiring. Plus, gorgeous photos as always.

  • http://stowell.wordpress.com Food,Photography & France

    Fabulous picture and a very sexy sounding dish – top post.

  • http://beckyintherootcellar.com Becky

    This looks melt-in-my-mouth great!

  • http://hollyshelpings.wordpress.com Holly

    How does steel cut oat risotto compare with risotto made with arborio rice? It sounds like a good idea since I have lots of oats to use up, but I was just wondering how it influenced the texture or taste of the risotto. Thanks!

    • http://www.savorysimple.net Savory Simple

      The taste will be almost identical. Since the oats are smaller than short grain rice and because of their difference in texture, the dish has a slightly different mouthfeel. But the risotto still comes out very creamy and rich. I would only make this with steel-cut oats, not standard rolled oats. Steel-cut oats are sturdy enough to maintain their shape, whereas other oats will become mushy if you cook them for such a long period of time.

  • http://gravatar.com/foodfamilyandvino foodfamilyandvino

    OMG! Butter Poached Lobster! Can it get any better than this? Looks so yummy!

  • http://cakeboule.wordpress.com cakeboule

    A fantastic photo that made we want to try it and I have never eaten lobster. Now you got me thinking…

  • http://fieldsofcake.blogspot.com fieldsofcake

    yup, it’s official. I love you.

    • http://www.savorysimple.net Savory Simple

      I love you, too! :D

  • Huy-zer

    Risotto of steel cut oats? I didn’t even know that was possible. My world is officially rocked. Lovely photo!

  • Kay aka Babygirl

    Oh my.. this Butter Poached Lobster looks amazing! I mean you have definitely out done yourself with this dish. And the risotto.. yeah I’m totally hungry now :)

  • Susan

    This sounds utterly delicious! So decadent! And I love the thought of the savoury oats. Intriguing and unusual!

  • http://gravatar.com/angrycherry Christine

    Ooh… lobster has always been one of those “but no one actually cooks that at HOME!” foods to me. Nice to see that you don’t have to pay through the nose at a fancy restaurant in order to enjoy nice seafood — and I love the risotto! Looks delicious. :)

  • http://spreescookingspree.wordpress.com spree

    What an exquisite dish, alluring, sexy and so very photogenic! Nicely done! Would love to try.

  • http://spreescookingspree.wordpress.com spree

    I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. I always enjoy what you have to share!

  • Carolyn Chan

    Decadent! I love the idea of using steel cut oats instead of rice. The chewy texture would be so so so good!

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  • http://convergenyc.wordpress.com convergenyc

    Hell yes! Thats what I’m talking about. I poached some lobster in butter last night in my sous vide machine. Now what do I do with all this leftover “lobster butter”? I need your ideas.

    PS your blog is very inspirational. great photos, content, layout, etc etc.

    • http://www.savorysimple.net Savory Simple

      I used it for cooking eggs or anything with a strong flavor. I’d recommend trying to use it within a week.

  • http://www.abrowntable.com A Brown Table

    Ooh this looks and sounds delicious, that and I love lobster. Its nice to meet another D.C. blogger!

  • http://tastefoodblog.wordpress.com TasteFood

    This gorgeous and sounds delicious. I love switching out the grains in risotto, but have yet to try with oats. Now I will. Happy New Year!

  • amymjacobson

    I love the idea of steel-cut oats risotto! I’ve been looking for a way to add whole grains to risotto recipes and this might be just the ticket. Can’t wait to try it! Thanks again!

  • http://www.freeeatsfood.com Terris@ Free Eats

    How lucky are you that you got to go to Volt!! This looks like a beautiful dish, and so elegant!

  • http://keelymarie.com Keely Marie

    yum! saving this one because I have some lobster I need to cook. I got my first stand mixer finally, so I can’t wait to raid your other recipes that I haven’t been able to make without one. Happy New Year!

  • http://indianajayne.wordpress.com Indiana Jayne

    I just pinned this and will definitely be trying the steel cut oat risotto. I love oats and this sounds like a perfect recipe for some special cheese I just bought. Thanks!

  • http://naturalnoshing.wordpress.com naturalnoshing

    Wow this is stunning! I am completely intrigued by oat risotto – I’ve heard of it but never given it a try :) you have inspired me to make some soon! Beautiful photos by the way!

  • Jill

    This looks unbelievable. mmmmm, i’m in love

  • Spice Is Nice

    Wow this looks amazing! I love that you turned lobster into a winter comfort food!

  • Natasha

    Thank you! I have been wondering how I could make Steel Cut oats into a main dish or a side dish and this is perfect! I LOVE making risotto and am looking forward to trying different flavours with Steel Cut oats (maybe a Kale and Chicken risotto?)

    Thanks again :)

    • Savory Simple

      You will love it! And I really love the idea of kale in risotto. Enjoy :)