---------- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.02
  
       Title: THACKERAY'S LOBSTER (IRISH)
  Categories: Irish, Fish, Seafood
       Yield: 4 servings
  
       1    Very large lobster
     1/2 lb Butter
       1 T  Mustard
       1 T  Catsup
       1 c  Vinegar (white wine if poss)
            Cayenne pepper to taste
  
   (Amounts are approximate:  the above measurement should be increased or
   decreased depending on the size of the lobster.  You want about a cup of
   sauce per two people.)  Thackeray’s original follows:
   .
   “You take a lobster, about three feet long if possible, remove the shell,
   cut or break the flesh of the fish in pieces not too small.  Someone else
   meanwhile makes a mixture of mustard, vinegar, catsup and lots of cayenne
   pepper.  You produce a machine called a ”despatcher“ which has a spirit
   lamp underneath it that is usually illuminated with whiskey.”  (He appears
   to be talking about a chafing dish with a pretty aggressive flame.)  “The
   lobster, the sauce, and near half-a-pound of butter are placed in the
   despatcher, which is immediately closed.  When boiling, the mixture is
   stirred up, the lobster being sure to heave about the pan in a convulsive
   manner, while it emits a remarkable rich and agreeable odour through the
   apartment.  A glass and a half of sherry is now thrown into the pan, and
   the contents served out hot, and eaten by the company.  Porter (i.e.
   stout) is commonly drunk, and whisly-punch afterwards, and the dish is fit
   for an emperor.”
   .
   Unfortunately the day of inexpensive three-foot-long lobsters has passed,
   even in Ireland (lobsters of this size are still taken off the west coast,
   however).  In modern terms:  Clean and shell the lobster as indicated
   above.  Mix the mustard, vinegar, catsup and cayenne to taste (some people
   might prefer to cut the sourness of the vinegar by substituting a
   half-and-half mixture of vinegar and dry white wine).  Melt the butter in
   a large saucepan, saute the lobster briefly in it, not allowing it to
   color at all;  then add the mustard/vinegar/cayenne mixture, mix well,
   cover, and allow to stew over medium heat for 15-20 minutes.  Boiled new
   potatoes would go very well with this, or baked potatoes, or plain
   buttered rice.  Thackeray and his friends seem to have not eaten anything
   else with the dish, but they seem to have drunk a great deal;  he remarks
   in the next paragraph of the excerpt on ways to deal with the hangover....
  
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