Christmas Eve Lobster Gravy

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Grammy’s Christmas Eve gravy with lobsters is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. Plan for 1 lobster per person, with maybe an extra lobster or two for leftovers. Any excess gravy (or lobster) can be reserved for bisque.


  • 6 lobsters (between 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 pounds each)
  • 8 cans of tomato puree
  • 8 cans of water (use the empty puree cans)
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 to 8 large cloves of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Itallian seasoning to taste
  • 1/2 pound thick spaghetti

Make the Gravy

  1. Mince & crush garlic
  2. Dice onion
  3. Heat LARGE pot with enough oil to cover the bottom
  4. Add onion, garlic, salt, Italian seasoning
  5. Cook until shimmering (5 to 10 minutes)
  6. While waiting for that to cook, open the 8 cans of tomato
  7. Add tomato puree and water
  8. Cover and bring up to a simmer
  9. Uncover and let simmer for ~2 to 4 hours

Make the Lobster

This can be a little messy. I normally get two large disposable baking pans to hold and organize the lobster parts. A dishtowel that you’re not terribly attached to can be used when holding the lobsters’ claws and knuckles to avoid getting knicked by the sharp bits.

  1. Dismember the lobsters
  2. Using a dishtowel, grab the arms and twist them off the body
  3. Using the same dishtowel, break the knuckles off the claws by snapping perpendicular to how the claw bends
  4. Using a sharp knife that doesn’t have a heal, cut the tail off the body. The back end of the blade can be slid between the shell to start the cut safely.
  5. Using the same knife, cut the tail at the third section from the front
  6. Grab a cleaver or other heavy knife, knotch a slit in the back of the claw, once the blade is lodged far enough in, you can twist the knife and crack off the end of the claw. The end typically won’t come all the way off, but that’s fine. You’re just looking to make it easier to get at the meat once it’s cooked. Don’t forget to take the rubber bands off the claws at this point.
  7. Using kitchn sheers, cut lengthwise down the knuckle
  8. Dump everything into the boiling (or near boiling) gravy
  9. Let cook for 15 minutes, or until the shells all turn red. Over cooking isn’t too big of a deal.


As per tradition, each person must eat at least two plates of spaghetti. After that it’s a free-for-all grabbing whatever lobster you can.

Recently, I’ve been doing a small plate of spaghetti and serving only the claws and tails. I reserve the body and knuckle meat for bisque.