Philippe Labbé's Lobster Fumet

Briefly blanch lobster heads in water with a little vinegar, lemon, dry fennel branches, Sarawak pepper, and salt. Discard gills and cut up heads into pieces small enough to lie flat in frying oil.

Fry in hot oil for 5 to 10 minutes. Add butter, garlic, onion, and fresh fennel and sweat briefly without browning. Deglaze with white wine and reduce.

Cover with water and add dried fennel. Simmer for 40 minutes, skimming off impurities but not the fat.

Remove from heat and cover liquid with crushed pepper and fresh basil. Cover with plastic wrap and let infuse for 20 minutes.

Crush all solids through a food mill to remove all the juice and meat. Discard the shells. Pour remainder of liquid through the mill to wash through any remaining meat. Strain through a fine chinois. Chill and skim off fat.