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MasterChef Australia

Weds - Fri at 7.30pm TVNZ 1

Episode 40 - Lobster and Mussels with Roast and Confit Fennel

Stephen Rooney

Lobster and Mussels with Roast and Confit Fennel and Lobster Bisque

Serves 4


1 lobster

Olive oil

4 bulbs baby fennel, fronds reserved for garnish

3 shallots, roughly chopped

110ml Pernod

3 star anise

1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped, stalks reserved

500ml fish stock

Juice of 1 lemon

60ml double cream

70g butter

50 grams sugar

2 cloves garlic

12 mussels, cleaned and debearded

Salt and pepper, to taste



6 cherry tomatoes, deseeded and finely diced

4 radish, finely sliced and set aside in an ice bath


  • Preheat oven to 200C.
  • Remove lobster tail from the shell and set aside.
  • Chop lobster shell and head into small pieces. In a large saucepan, fry the shell in olive oil over a medium heat until caramelised. Add 1 chopped fennel bulb and 2 shallots. Cook until softened. Deglaze pan with 50mls of pernod and cook for 5 minutes. Add 1 star anise, parsley stalks and fish stock and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Strain the sauce and reduce again over a low heat until you have half of the original amount. Finish the sauce with lemon juice, half the chopped parsley and cream. Season to taste and set aside, keeping warm.
  • Meanwhile, remove the stems and tough outer leaves from two of the fennel and discard. Cut fennel into quarters. Place in a roasting tray with oil, salt, pepper and 1 star anise. Roast in the oven until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Set aside.
  • Place 250ml water, sugar and 20ml pernod in a saucepan. Dice remaining fennel bulb and add to saucepan. Simmer until fennel is tender but still has a bite, about 5 minutes. Drain fennel and set aside.
  • Heat a pot of water to 50C. Place three sheets of plastic wrap on top of each other and place the lobster tail on top. Season with salt, pepper, olive oil and 20ml of pernod. Wrap tightly, tying both ends to secure. Place in the hot water until almost cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove from water.
  • Melt butter in a saucepan. Remove the lobster tail from the plastic and add to the butter. Cook gently, basting with butter until the core temperature reaches 54C. Remove from butter and set aside to keep warm.
  • For the mussels, place a saucepan on a high heat. Add a dash of olive oil, the remaining shallot, parsley and star anise, the garlic, and mussels. Add remaining 20ml pernod and cover until mussels have opened. Remove mussels from their shells and set aside.
  • To serve, place the roast fennel in the centre of the bowl. Spoon diced fennel and tomatoes around the bowl. Cut lobster tail in half. Place mussels and lobster tail on top of the roast fennel. Garnish with reserved fennel fronds, radish slices and drizzle over sauce.