What a mouthful of a headline. But, what a mouthful of delicious home smoked, Irish whiskey flavoured, Irish salmon. The words are carefully chosen to avoid ambiguity. I could go on a rant here about authenticity of food origins. But, there is little point. Food companies spend a lot of money to fool the unsuspecting consumer that their products are something other than as presented. In Ireland, one can buy ‘Irish’ salmon that has been reared in Scotland. The practice is totally legal. The food retailers and producers are just that bit smarter than the legislators. The average consumer doesn’t seem to care as long as the price is right. Anyway, I promised to not rant so, let me tell you about my salmon smoking experiment instead.
Having temporarily got my hands on a Bradley digital smoker, I thought I should give smoking some salmon a go. I have previously hot smoked some salmon in a little camping smoker. It was delicious. Cold smoking is a bit more involved and takes longer. Here’s what I did.
A trip to the local fishmongers got me a nice piece of salmon. It also got me a second piece to smoke for the fishmonger too. Such is life. The process takes a few days to complete.
Friday evening: Arrived home with the two big pieces of salmon and a bag of salt. I sat the salmon, skin side down, on a bed of salt and generously sprinkled with more salt, adding more to the thicker end of the fillets.
I covered these with cling film and put them in the refrigerator overnight.
Saturday morning: A lot of water is pulled out of the salmon in the process. The meat is also cured by absorbing a deal of the salt in the osmosis. I then washed the salmon under the cold tap and patted them dry. I then placed them, uncovered, back in the fridge.
Saturday afternoon: I painted the salmon with a small amount of Kilbeggan Irish whiskey and returned it to the fridge. This process was repeated every three hours until I went to bed on Saturday night (three times in total).
Sunday morning: I fired up the smoker and put the salmon in to smoke for six hours.
The salmon has a lovely pellicle (thin film or skin) that formed overnight.
Sunday evening: I removed the salmon and return it to the fridge, uncovered.
Monday morning: I vacuum sealed the salmon and returned it to the fridge.
Tuesday evening: I unpacked the salmon, carved it and we tasted it. The anticipation had us giddy.
The salmon was a thing of beauty both in appearance and taste.
What better thing to serve with smoked salmon than brown bread and scrambled eggs. This lovely stuff was served with a wee drop of Kilbeggan Irish whiskey (what else?).
This was a triumph of patience and persistence. It is the truly genuine article. I used organic Irish salmon and Irish whiskey. I smoked it in Ireland. We ate it in Ireland and only Irish people ate it. It doesn’t get any more genuine Irish than that. I can’t recommend you to try it. It would take me four or five days to prepare it for you.