There are a few things you should know about a lobster boil in New Brunswick. First and foremost, it is an integral part of the upbringing, for only about half our population. The other half still can’t figure out what all the fuss is about. The second thing you should know is that in NB, very few of us eat a lobster in a restaurant, why would we? As children we learn that the best lobster is always made at home and celebrated as an event.
Lobster hasn’t always been the high flying, jet-setting crustacean it is today. Can you imagine the first person to pick one of these guys out of the shallow waters and decide to eat it? Me neither, but am I glad they did.
There was very little representing a lobster fishing industry until the decline of shipbuilding, when many people turned to fishing as a new source of income. When the first Europeans arrived in the 1600s, lobster could be found on the shore at low tide and caught by hand. You could throw a net into the shallow water and be sure to catch a few. What a difference 400 years makes. Lobster continued to be so plentiful through the first half of the 20th century that it was considered low value, and a poor man’s food. Lobster was regularly ground down for fertilizer.
Today, the best way to enjoy lobster is like a local does, freshly boiled in salt water. So scroll down to find out everything you’ll need to enjoy your next lobster boil on the beach.
What you’ll need:
Lobster – we start with 2 lobster per person, but whatever floats your boat *We recommend getting your lobster from North Market Seafood. Located inside the Saint John City Market, NMSF has been serving Saint John some of the freshest seafood for over 60 years!
Lobster pot and cover (AKA corn boil pot or turkey fry pot) – at least 25L, all metal, can be put on the fire, use the included strainer if you have it, it will make your life so much easier!
Saltwater – either pull it from the sea, or add 1 cup of salt to your pot of water
Bricks and a grill – you’ll want to build a bbq for your boiling pot. The space beneath the pot should be at least 1 cubic foot to allow enough room for your fire, coals, and stoking
Shocking tub – a large plastic or metal tub filled with fresh water, shouold be large enough to hold all your lobster after cooking
Bag of ice – for the shocking tub, keep in a Styrofoam cooler until it’s time for the lobster to come out
Long BBQ Tongs
Large metal tool – we use an old axe, you need the cold steel to keep the pot from boiling over
Thomas’ White Wine Garlic Butter for Lobster and Mussels
1c. Butter, melted
2-3 cloves Garlic
1/4c. Dry white wine
Juice of 1 lemon approx. 1tbsp
¼ tsp Pepper
½ tsp Dried basil (optional)
Bring an extra small pot and set it next to the fire to melt the butter. Then add 2-3 cloves of crushed garlic, allowing the garlic to steep in the melted butter.
When the garlic becomes fragrant add the lemon juice and white wine. Stir frequently and heat to a simmer, but do not boil. Add pepper and dried basil to taste. Serve in small dishes alongside your favourite shellfish.
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