A Romantic Surf & Turf: Lightly Smoked Filet & Butter Poached Lobster
"There is no sincerer love than the love of food." George Bernard Shaw
Those "unlimited bread sticks and salad" chains may be fine for an ordinary date night but for a special romantic dinner like Valentine's Day, somehow surf & turf has always been thought to be the great aphrodisiac, and nothing says "I love you" like home cooking.
Surf & Turf is traditionally a filet mignon and lobster, but you can use other steaks. Click here for more on beef cuts. And interestingly, when you buy just a lobster tail, you almost always get a frozen tail from a warm water lobster, a breed that doesn't have the big meaty claws of cold water lobsters. They are delicious, and perfect for this dish. If you are a Maine lobster devotee, make sure to buy a live whole lobster with claws. Click here for more about lobster types as well as some interesting pictures.
Makes. 2 steaks, 2 servings
Takes. 10 minutes prep. 20 minutes cook time.
Serve with. Champagne or sparkling wine
Special tools. Kitchen shears
1 pound unsalted butter
1 uncooked lobster tail, approximately 6 ounces
2 (8 ounce) ribeye filets
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Ground black pepper
About the beef. If you can't find wagyu ribeye filets, order them from Snake River Farms or, if you must, substitute a ribeye or even the tradfitional filet mignon.
1) Prepare a grill for 2-zone cooking. On a charcoal grill, place a chimney full of pre-heated charcoal briquets to one side of the grill's charcoal grate in order to create direct and an indirect cooking zones. You want one side scorching hot and the other side at about 225°F. On a gas grill, adjust the temperature knobs so that one half of the grill is as hot as possible and the other half is approximately 225°F.
2) Using a set of heavy-duty kitchen shears, cut through the bottom of the lobster shell and gently remove the tail from the shell. Refrigerate the until ready to use.
3) Add butter in a small saucepan and place it on the grill (you can do this indoors, but I like to do it on the grill so I can coordinate the timing). Allow the butter to slowly melt, moving the saucepan to the cool zone of the grill if it begins to boil. Once the butter begins to form a layer of foam, remove it from the heat and gently spoon the foam off. Pour the clarified butter into a heat resistant bowl, leaving the sediment of milk solids in the saucepan. Discard milk solids and return the clarified butter to the saucepan.
4) Season the filets liberally on both sides with Kosher salt and ground black pepper.
5) Add 2 to 3 chunks of your favorite smoking wood. Place the steaks on the cool side of the grill along with the saucepan of clarified butter. Cover the grill and allow the steaks to collect some smoke until they reach an internal temperature of 115°F (note: a remote thermometer such as the Thermoworks Smoke allows you to set and monitor the internal temperature while attending to other matters such as side dishes).
6) Once the steaks reach 115°F, open the lid and sear the steaks while frequently flipping until an even crust has formed. At this point, the internal temperature of the steaks should be in the medium rare range, 130 to 135°F. It is best to aim for the lower temperature in order to avoid possible overcooking during carryover.
7) As the steaks grill, add the lobster tail to the butter and allow it to poach for approximately 5 minutes until it is cooked through about 145°F. The lobster meat will be white instead of translucent. Remove the lobster tail from the butter and set it aside.
8) Slice the lobster tails into 1/2" medallions. Plate the ribeye fillets, top each with butter poached lobster medallions, and drizzle with the clarified butter before serving along with your favorite side dishes.