Griswold Inn New England Lobster Potpie 3.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; trivet from Crate and Barrel

Dec 18, 2013

The Griswold Inn of Essex, Conn., dates to 1776. In addition to its Americana, evident in each room, its restaurant celebrates New England seafood. Besides the star ingredient, this homey dish is chock-full of corn, carrot, fennel, onion, celery and fresh herbs.

Make Ahead: If you wish to make lobster broth, use the spent shell pieces and heads from the lobsters (see NOTES below).

3 - 4

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Tested size: 3-4 servings

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium carrot, trimmed, scrubbed well and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 large ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium white onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups chardonnay
  • 3 cups water or lobster broth, plus 1/4 cup water for brushing (see headnote)
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 cups (frozen/defrosted or from 3 ears) corn kernels
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Cooked meat from two 1 1/4-pound lobsters (10 to 12 ounces; see NOTES)
  • 1 sheet (9 ounces) frozen/defrosted puff pastry, preferably Dufours brand
  • 1 large egg, for brushing


Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the carrot, celery, onion, fennel and garlic, stirring to coat. Cook for about 8 minutes or until the mixture begins to brown a little. Clear a small space at the center of the pan and add the tomato paste. Cook for a minute or two, then add the wine and stir to incorporate those ingredients, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Cook until the liquid has reduced by half, then stir in the 3 cups of water or lobster broth, the potatoes and corn. Cook for at least 20 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half. The potatoes should be barely tender. Add the tarragon and basil, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stir in the cream; cook for 15 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half, then stir in the lobster meat. Remove from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Use cooking oil spray to grease a medium-size souffle dish. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Cut the puff pastry to fit just inside the rim of the dish.

Pour the potpie mixture into the dish, then cover with the puff pastry, trimming off the excess. (Reserve for another use, if desired.) Combine the remaining 1/4 cup of water and the egg to create an egg wash; brush it onto the puff pastry and discard the rest. Use a sharp knife to create a small hole at the center of the pastry or cut a few slits in the top. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, until golden brown.

Let the potpie rest for 5 minutes before serving.

NOTES: To cook the lobsters, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the (live) lobsters, head first. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, then use tongs to transfer to the lobster to a large bowl of cold water and ice cubes. Once the lobsters have cooled, crack the tails, claws and knuckles to retrieve the meat, cutting it into 1/2-inch chunks.

To make lobster broth, transfer the lobster heads and any cracked shell to a large saucepan. Cover with at least 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat; cook for 10 to 15 minutes, then strain; discard the lobster heads and shells — or save a head for a striking garnish.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "A Century of Restaurants: Stories and Recipes From 100 of America's Most Historic and Successful Restaurants," by Rick Browne (Andrews McMeel, 2013).

Tested by Sarah Meyer Walsh.

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