Ingredient List Print Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- Shells from 2 lobsters
- Shells from 2 pounds large shrimp
- 1 medium carrot, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 3 tablespoons brandy
- 3 cups chicken stock (or substitute with water)
- 2 cups water
Homemade Shellfish Stock
Always, always, always save your leftover shells and bones in bags in your freezer to make rich, homemade stocks and broths. It’s an ingredient that is guaranteed to take your cooking to the next level. Today, I’m making a shellfish stock with leftover lobster and shrimp shells for my shrimp etouffee. I love using chicken stock as the base, as the flavor is more rich and vibrant, but you can use all water if you’d prefer. If you don’t cook with it right away, freeze the shellfish stock in quart containers or in Ziploc bags, which are easy to store in a crowded freezer.
In a large pot, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion and bay leaves, and then stir in the tomato paste. Add the leftover lobster shells (or whatever shells you’ve been saving in your freezer), shrimp shells, carrot and celery. Cook until the mixture is fragrant and the vegetables have softened, about 3 minutes. Add the brandy, chicken stock and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook for 2 hours.
Remove from heat and strain the stock into a large bowl through a fine sieve. Make sure to press on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Use it right away in dishes like my shrimp etouffee, or freeze it in quart containers and Ziploc bags for future use.
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