1 large live cock crab weighing 1.2 kilo
2 sticks celery washed and sliced into 1/2cm
1/2 onion peeled and cut in half and 1/4’s
1 leek split in half, washed and slice
1/4 fennel bulb cut in half and slice
2 garlic cloves sliced
2 bay leaves
8g thyme sprigs
6 star anise
16 pink peppercorns
6 sprigs each of parsley, tarragon, and chervil
4 strips of lemon zest
1/2 orange peel done with a speedy peeler
150ml noilly pratt + 150ml white wine + water just to cover
Large pinch of chopped dill, tarragon, chervil
Fresh microplaned lemon zest
4 small gem lettuce ( separated into shells
4 Wedges of lemon to serve with the crab
2 egg yolks
10g dijon mustard
15g white wine vinegar
8g lemon juice
10 turns of freshly milled black pepper
400ml vegetable oil
15ml water add only if the mayonnaise gets too thick
Serves Four – Six
CLEANING THE CRAB
Place the crab on the board, twist off the legs and claws putting them to one side, then push against the shell close t the crab’s tail, push and prise the body section out and away from the hard back shell.From the body section, remove the grey white stomach sack, just behind the mouth and dead man’s fingers.
Cut the central body in to quarters with a sharp knife then pick all the leg sockets out with a lobster pick making sure that all the holes and spaces have been emptied of crab. The hard back shell needs to be scraped of all the pinky brown meat, pick the meat where the legs and claws join the body, divide the brown and white crab meat between two bowls.
Crack the claws and legs with a hammer, with a skewer take out all the white meat in the large legs, all the smaller legs need to be twisted at the joints and then using a lobster pick take out all of the meat.
To serve the crab in the hard back shell, break off the jagged, overlapping rim from the edge of the shell, wash and dry well on a kitchen towel.
Place all the ingredients into a pan and bring to a simmer, add the crab and cook for 10-12 minutes, at a simmer, remove from the heat and leave it to cool in the liquor.
Place the white meat into a bowl and mix enough mayonnaise into it to bind the meat together, add the chopped fresh herbs of dill, chervil and tarragon add a little fresh lemon juice and fresh lemon zest and fresh black pepper, place the white crab meat inside the lettuce leaves then place any brown meat on top.
Whisk the mustard, salt, pepper, vinegar and egg yolks in a bowl till nicely emulsified, slowly pour in the oil whilst whisking, add a little water if it gets to thick, then check the seasoning.