The only recipe you need for grilled surf and turf drenched in garlic herb butter


Grilled Surf & Turf drenched in Garlic Herb Butter

Ann Vanderhoof
For a cottage-easy version of this luxe restaurant dish, use the barbecue to cook both the turf (your favourite splurge steaks) and the surf (lobster tails; no tussling with whole, live lobsters required). Though you can find frozen lobster tails in many supermarkets, dedicated seafood stores are a surer bet; they will have larger tails and faster turnover, which ensures the lobster hasn’t been in the freezer too long.
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Course dinner
Cuisine grilling
Servings 4 people


Surf & Turf

  • 4 lobster tails, preferably 6–8 oz a piece
  • 4 filet mignons, ribeyes, or other favourite grilling steak 
  • extra-virgin olive oil, to brush on
  • kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to tatse

Garlic Herb Butter

  • 4 oz butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley or another herb such as thyme or tarragon, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chives or green onion (green parts only), finely chopped  (green parts only), finely chopped
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Garlic Herb Butter

  • Place butter in a small bowl and mash in all ingredients with a fork until everything is well combined. Scrape onto a piece of plastic wrap and roll into a 1"-diameter log. Refrigerate for several hours until hard, then slice into disks about ¼" thick. 

Surf & Turf

  • The night before serving, remove the lobster tails from the freezer and leave in the fridge to defrost. 
  • At least 2 hours before cooking, remove steaks from fridge and bring to room temperature. Also bring Garlic Herb Butter to room temperature before using. 
  • To prepare lobster tails for the grill, use kitchen shears to cut lengthwise through the middle of the top side of the shell. Insert a sharp knife, and cut through the lobster flesh, stopping before you cut through the bottom. With your hands, open the two sides of the shell like a book. 
  • Preheat grill to medium-high. Clean and oil the grill rack. Brush lobster tails on both sides with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
  • Grill tails top (flesh-side) down, with lid closed, until shell is red and meat is starting to brown (about 4–5 minutes), then flip and continue to cook flesh-side up, placing a slice of Garlic Herb Butter on each tail. Brush the butter over the flesh as it starts to melt. When lobster is opaque and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thick end registers 135˚F, remove tails from grill. 
  • Increase heat to high, rub steaks with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and grill to your desired doneness. 
  • Remove from grill, top each steak with a slice of herb butter, and leave to rest, uncovered, for a few minutes. Meanwhile, remove lobster tails from shells, using a fork to loosen if necessary. 
  • Top each of the steaks with a lobster tail, add another slice or two of herb butter, and serve immediately. 


If you can’t find lobster tails or you want to make your surf & turf even faster, you can substitute frozen, cooked lobster meat (available in large supermarkets and seafood stores). Defrost meat in the fridge, drain, and pat dry. Melt several slices of the herb butter in a frying pan, and quickly reheat the lobster. 
Keyword bbq, grilling, herb butter, seafood, surf&turf
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