My First Salmon!!!!!!

Postby grisell » Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:27 am

Oddley wrote:No fresh. Salted herring is not available in my area.
[---]


Ah, that's another matter. I get it. Yes, you should have frozen the herring first. Those Anisakis are quite yucky.
André

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Postby grisell » Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:30 am

My sympathies about the herring. :(
André

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Postby grisell » Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:34 am

Oddley wrote:No fresh. Salted herring is not available in my area.



:) It's quite funny. In Sweden it's the other way around. Fresh herring is nowhere to be found (at least not on the East Coast). I think I've seen it twice on sale here in Stockholm through the last 30 years. Salted herring is available just about everywhere, pre-packed or in barrels.
André

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Postby Ianinfrance » Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:37 am

I too have just made my first smoked salmon.

I bought a side of farmed salmon from our local Cash-&-Carry et €23. That's around £20. Made a up some cure with sea salt and demerara, 2:1 which I ground fairly fine. Following (roughly) a recipe on Mac's BBQ I used a cup of salt and half a cup of sugar for the side. Rubbed in generously and then vac packed (practically no vacuum, just sealed to keep it mess free. Then I realised I'd not used any pepper. Oops.

18 hours later on, I drained, washed, reweighed and dried the side and put it into the fridge to form the pellicle. Oops, forgot the pepper, so hoiked it out again peppered liberally and put uncovered in the fridge for 24 hours.

Monday morning first thing, heated the Bradley to 26C (thermostat) and halved the side to get it into the racks and popped the salmon in to warm up on the surface to prevent condensation. After getting out the other stuff to smoke (cheap cheddar and camembert and a slab of cured pork belly) I put them in too, and fired up the CSG - oak.

Gave the cheese 2 hours, the salmon 5 hours and the bacon the full burn as usual. (10 hours).

I've not really tasted the cheese - I've read dire warnings about licking astrays, but after letting the salmon sit till wednesday lunchtime, we cut ourselves a thoroughly piggy amount for lunch. We were absolutely delighted. Not as good as the VERY best Scottish wild craftsman smoked salmon that we sometimes get at Christmas, but so far better than the stuff we buy here in France that's it's not funny. AND the cost is way cheaper too. As you'll have gathered, we're delighted. Half is already sliced and packed in 100 g lots under vacuum in the freezer. The other half is under vacuum now in the fridge.

Figures
2205g fresh (100%)
1½ cups 2:1 salt/sugar.

after salting & wiping dry. weight loss 8.16%
2025 g

after 24 hours uncovered weight loss 10%
1984 g

after smoking 1975 g weight loss 10.4%

Yeeeehooooo
All the best - Ian
"The Earth is degenerating today. Bribery and corruption abound. Children no longer obey their parents, every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching." c. 2800 BC
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Postby wheels » Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:02 am

It's great to see you around again Ian. Smoked Salmon is something that we would only have on high days and holidays it it wasn't for my smoker. It's great isn't it?

Phil
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Postby Ianinfrance » Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:28 pm

wheels wrote:It's great to see you around again Ian. Smoked Salmon is something that we would only have on high days and holidays it it wasn't for my smoker. It's great isn't it?

Phil

Thanks very much, Wheels. I'll tell you what really blew me away with it. How damn easy it is to do!

1. Make the cure (not exactly rocket science)
2. Rub it all over the fish, 90% on the flesh, 10% on the skin as usual.
3. Wrap it. and pop into the fridge for a while. I chose 18 hours, because it suited my timing.
4. Remove, unwrap, rinse and dry. I chose to expose to make a pellicle because it seemed like a good idea.
5. Cold smoke. I decided to use 26C as a temperature because I seem to remember reading somewhere that this is right. I really don't think it mattered too much though. Again, I chose 5 hours almost at random.

And despite all these random decisions, it turned out smashing.

Now I've got to do it again to prove it wasn't pure luck!!
All the best - Ian
"The Earth is degenerating today. Bribery and corruption abound. Children no longer obey their parents, every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching." c. 2800 BC
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Postby wheels » Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:37 pm

Ian

You've forgotton the best bit - it's an excuse for buying that Granton Edge Salmon Knife that you've always wanted but could never justify buying before! At least, it was in my case! :lol:

Phil
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Cutting humour

Postby Ianinfrance » Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:24 pm

wheels wrote:Ian

You've forgotton the best bit - it's an excuse for buying that Granton Edge Salmon Knife that you've always wanted but could never justify buying before! At least, it was in my case! :lol:

Phil


What, like this?
Image

I've had this (but called it a ham slicer), ever since I've been married!!
All the best - Ian
"The Earth is degenerating today. Bribery and corruption abound. Children no longer obey their parents, every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching." c. 2800 BC
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Postby wheels » Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:48 pm

That's them, the design is by Granton Knives of Sheffield, a scalloped blade that can still be sharpened on a steel. The ham and salmon knives look the same, I wonder whether one is a stiffer blade than the other?

Phil
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Postby grisell » Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:12 pm

Ian, you will destroy your knife if you try to cut into granite! :lol:
André

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Postby Ianinfrance » Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:08 pm

Hi again Phil,
wheels wrote:That's them, the design is by Granton Knives of Sheffield, a scalloped blade that can still be sharpened on a steel. The ham and salmon knives look the same, I wonder whether one is a stiffer blade than the other?
Phil
If there is a difference, then I'd guess the ham blade would be a bit stiffer. Whatever - it works. Funnily enough I've known Granton edge knives ever since I was a boy in the war. We always had a carving knife like that, and so when we got married 40+ years ago I got a set of knives from Butler, and that had Granton edges on the carver and ham slicer. AAs you say, they can be hones with a steel and sharpened, even though they aren't plain bladed. I sharpen and hone mine on the diamond wheel for my Asian blades and it works a treat.

You might be amused to hear that I have been chatting to a producer of foie gras (small scale artisan) about the CSG and so I ordered one for him, so he could smoke his cured magrets and thereby increase the range of goods. Anyway on Thursday I took round the job lot of wood dust for it that I'd subsequently ordered for him, and at the same time took round a couple of slices of smoked salmon for him to taste. I was a little surprised at the rather lukewarm reception it got at the time.

Anyway, we were in the market to get half a dozen duck magrets, partly to eat next week, one to cure and the others to freeze for clients. While there, he exclaimed at how good the salmon was. He said that he'd given up on buying them and thought he didn't really like them, because in France, they're expensive and not that wonderful. But of mine he said. "I've never ever had anything nearly as good, it's wonderful".

So that's pleasing. I can feel some swapsies coming on. A foie gras for a side of smoked salmon. He's got a big smoker, which he picked up second had from a retiring pork charcutier, and I think he tried a blind run with the CSG. He was full of pleasure over that too, because he said "it's easy, it worked perfectly first time. " Another convert.

I'll be interested to see what wood he finds is best, and how his magrets taste. He did ask me one question that stumped me. Normally, when curing magrets, they get about 24 hours in salt, then after rinsing and peppering, they get wrapped in cloth and dried in the fridge for 2-3 weeks at which time they're ready to eat. He asked. "If I wanted to smoke some, would you advise me to do it at the beginning of the drying or the end. Never having tried it at all, I was a bit stumped. I said that on balance, I guessed that probably it would be best to leave them to dry in the cold room to get their pellicle for 24 hours or so, then to smoke them and then to put them back to continue to dry as usual.

Would you agree?
===========
Grisell... You're right, but it's so much fun sharpening the blade afterwards!
All the best - Ian
"The Earth is degenerating today. Bribery and corruption abound. Children no longer obey their parents, every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching." c. 2800 BC
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Postby wheels » Sun Mar 20, 2011 3:05 pm

Wow, some people get all the luck! Salmon for foie gras - can't be bad.

I'd go, cure, dry to get a pellicle, smoke, then further drying/maturing. I'd use cure because of smoking but guess you'll be wasting your breathe suggesting that to a French foie gras producer!

Phil
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Postby Ianinfrance » Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:41 pm

wheels wrote:Wow, some people get all the luck! Salmon for foie gras - can't be bad.

I'd go, cure, dry to get a pellicle, smoke, then further drying/maturing. I'd use cure because of smoking but guess you'll be wasting your breathe suggesting that to a French foie gras producer!

Phil


Well his whole duck livers weigh in at around 500g so they usually "only" cost me around the 20€ mark. I've been experimenting with them, ever since trying my first one just before Christmas. We've got the deveining sussed now, and Jacquie does it as well as, or even better than, his wife. That's about the trickiest job. I'm using my sous vide/low temperature combo at 63°C and with a shaped roll equivalent to one lobe (an uneven half) about 4 cms across, that needs 1h40 mins. The only other slightly tricky thing is the seasoning, but that wasn't that hard. There's a lot of info out there.

Thanks for confirming the cure/pellicle/smoke/dry sequence. As for using nitritec sat - as you say, I might be on a sticky wicket there, though I can mention the marginally increased risk of botulism.
All the best - Ian
"The Earth is degenerating today. Bribery and corruption abound. Children no longer obey their parents, every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching." c. 2800 BC
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Postby grisell » Sun Mar 20, 2011 7:04 pm

Ianinfrance wrote:
[---]
Well his whole duck livers weigh in at around 500g so they usually "only" cost me around the 20€ mark.
[---]


Why don't I live in France..? :(
André

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Postby Ianinfrance » Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:03 pm

grisell wrote:
Ianinfrance wrote:
[---]
Well his whole duck livers weigh in at around 500g so they usually "only" cost me around the 20€ mark.
[---]


Why don't I live in France..? :(


Sheemples.... 'cos you're a masochist.
All the best - Ian
"The Earth is degenerating today. Bribery and corruption abound. Children no longer obey their parents, every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching." c. 2800 BC
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