The smokehouse was “Smokin” over the weekend producing our best smoked salmon to date.
This time around we prepared 4 whole sides starting the previous Thursday by burying the sides in vacuum salt for 12 hours. Having cured the salmon, it was thoroughly rinsed and dried. Immediately after drying we wet it again with Wood’s Navy rum and sprinkled the sides with dried fennel grown over the summer in the small poly-tunnel. They were then left overnight to marinate and form a light pellicule over the fish.
Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny but with that bite of autumn chill, just perfect for a days smoking. The smokehouse was prepared, the smoke generator fired up and the salmon was placed carefully on racks in the house. Now all we had to do was keep the smoke going for 18 hours.
The oak chippings used produced a sweet smelling aroma through-out the day and was a joy to see in action, knowing that our salmon would taste so good. Refilling the generator every couple of hours between all the other jobs on the never ending “smallholding list of jobs” was never a chore.
Mid Saturday afternoon we gave an input on poultry keeping on behalf of Tartan Dragon smallholding courses and all of the guests were fascinated by the whole process, all thoughts of chickens, ducks and geese being forgotten for a while.
By 10 pm the smoker had been running for 14 hours and it was time for bed, the smoker was filled with oak for the final time and from experience, we knew that it would smoke well into the night. On Sunday morning the salmon was checked and was a beautiful deep colour and smelt wonderful, it was now time to wrap the sides in cling film and allow all the flavours to develop in the fridge for another 36 hours.
By Monday evening the salmon was ready to slice. Using a very sharp knife the sides were sliced by hand in 100g batches and vacuum packed to seal in the flavours and smells. In all we produced 31 packs of home produced smoked salmon. The equivalent of a whole side has been “dibsed” by Stella at Tartan Dragon in exchange for more of their Highland Beef and work colleagues are already rapidly reducing our stock!
What is left for us will be used in various tasty recipes, including smoked salmon, chive and sour cream baskets, or just mixed in with fresh scrambled duck eggs on home made bread. Making your own smoked salmon is time consuming, but with a bit of planning is well worth the effort and the taste is like nothing you will get in the supermarkets.
If you would like any information or would like to chat about our smoked salmon, or indeed anything else we do at Pool Cottage, please contact us via the contacts page.