Alder Home Smoked Salmon

My home made cold smoked salmon using my Bradley Smoker.

Smoked Salmon has always been one of those dishes brought out only on special occasions. Why I am not so sure.. maybe the price ?..which is a shame because it is so easy to make and is a delicious addition to so many recipes. I have just spent the weekend making my own and it has been so easy – especially with a Bradley Smoker. Not only is it easy but I choose the quality of the salmon, create the curing mix ( no chemicals, additives or artificial flavours) and, just as importantly, I add the flavours I want.

DSCF4345My curing mix is large crystal sea salt, white sugar, fresh dill, roasted pepper corns and juniper berries – I use the ratio 1 cup sugar to 3 cups salt.

I am very familiar with juniper berries from my gin soaked days in France but recently came across them as a replacement for pepper, they really add a spicy peppery kick. I have used roasted juniper berries in my brining solution and love the result.

Layer the bottom of a dish with the mix and then add the salmon skin side down. Use the remainder of the mix to cover the salmon entirely, making sure all the salmon surface is in contact with the mix. Place in the fridge and leave overnight.

DSCF4347After the salmon has been cured rinse well again and again, as the salty mix can really over power the salmon. Place in your  cold smoker, select the wood for smoky flavour and smoke. The Bradley Smoker has an automatic feeder so you added the pellets and walk away for 4- 6 hours.

DSCF4358

It is always tempting to try tasting it as soon as it leaves the smoker but remember that your smoked salmon needs time to rest. The smoky flavour can be overpowering at first, but it soon settles down so make sure you leave overnight before eating.

The hardest part is not having the right carving knife to shave long thin slices as you see in the shop – there is an art to slicing smoked salmon and I’m still working on it.

Choosing a wood to smoke with is part of the fun, there really isn’t a right or wrong wood – it is all a matter of personal taste and don’t let anyone tell you there is a right or wrong wood flavour. Bit like wine, it all depends on you. The fun is making your own mind up about which wood you prefer, experimenting is what it is all about.

I have kept this recipe simple by serving with a fresh dill, lemon juice and mayonnaise dip with fresh bread and with an obligatory glass of chilled Sancerre . Sometimes simple is the best…

 

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Cold Smoking: Alder Home Smoked Salmon

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