6 whole live mud crabs
600g unsalted butter
250g peeled garlic
4 fresh bay leaves
2 stalks rosemary
1 bunch continental parsley
TO PREPARE THE CRAB
1. Place mud crabs in an Esky or sink filled with plenty of ice and water. After 15-20 mins, check the crabs. They should show no signs of movement. Once crabs are dead, remove strings and scrub outer shell to remove all traces of mud.
2. Turn crab on its back and lift the belly flap. Push your thumb under the upper shell and prise off. Remove all of the feathery gills and carefully rinse the centre of the crab.
3. Place crab on a cutting board. With a heavy knife, cut crab down the centre,
leaving two halves.
4. With a sharp tap, use the back of the knife to crack each part of the shell. This will allow the flavours to penetrate the meat and speed cooking.
5. Roughly chop parsley and set aside. Preheat oven to 160°C. Place garlic on a sheet of aluminium foil, drizzle with a little olive oil and wrap to form a secure envelope. Cook garlic in oven for 25-30 mins or until tender.
6. In a heavy based pot large enough to handle all of the crabs, melt the butter and continue to cook until butter foams and begins to brown.
7. Add roast garlic, mud crab and bay leaf and stir until crab is coated in butter. Place a lid on the pot and cook on high for 15-20 mins. To check if crab is cooked remove one half and cut through the body. The meat should be opaque all the way through. Once cooked, remove all crabs from pot and place in a large mixing bowl.
8. Continue to boil butter until it once again begins to foam and turn golden brown.
At this stage add rosemary and, while stirring, remove from heat. Add lemon juice and
parsley, return crab and its juices to the pot and carefully stir to coat the crabs in the sauce.
Pile high in a large bowl in the centre of the table for everyone to help themselves. Crusty bread, lemon and a simple salad is all you need. Keep plenty of napkins and finger bowls on hand as this may get a little messy!
Recipe provided by Sails Beach Restaurant & Bar