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Author Topic: Cold Smoked Scotch Salmon -- in SE TX !  (Read 12086 times)

Offline BuyLowSellHigh

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Cold Smoked Scotch Salmon -- in SE TX !
« on: December 13, 2010, 06:06:42 PM »
Yes, it can happen in SE TX!  Real, cold smoked, Scotch cured, Alaskan salmon!  The finished product



Now for the rest of the story ...

The cool weather lately has let me catch up on a bunch of cold smoked goodies.  At the tops of the list for SWMBO was cold smoked salmon.  Being fish, I wanted to be sure that temperature wouldn't be a problem.  The weather solved that for me.  

But then came the second challenge -- finding good quality salmon that I felt comfortable cold smoking.  We don't get much salmon down here, and about all we usually see is the farm raised Atlantic salmon, "color added" (and gawd knows what else).  No thanks, I'll pass.  Then last week I stumbled into a sale at the local Randall's (Safeway group) on "Wild Caught Alaskan Sockeye".  Checked it out with the meat dept. manager - processor frozen, in the original cryopac, processed in July.  Looked good, so I decided to give it a try.  The fact that it had been processor frozen and kept it that way also solved the issue of freezing for parasite destruction for me.

What follows is from the second run with some fine tuning of the recipe based upon the initial results last week (couldn't get pics last week due to software issues).  This is a modification of the recipe in Ruhlman & Polcyn's Charuterie.

First, the salmon - two filets between 1.5 and 1.6 lbs each out of their cryopacs. rinsed under cold running water for about 2 mins each, and then blotted dry with paper towels.



Next was some slight modification of the dry cure to be used.  Based on the initial trial I upped the sugar to be equal in weight to the salt, but kept the salt and cure #1 as called for in the original recipe.  At the same time I omitted the "sweet spices" called for in the recipe (allspice, cloves, and mace), but kept the ground bay leaf at 1/2 the original amount.  Finally, rather than sprinkling with dark rum, I used a good Scotch whisky.

I decided to use the Zip bag technique that works well with bacon.  Each filet got its own bag.  They just fit on a diagonal and that ends up working very well.  First half of the cure for each goes on the skin side.



Fold the sides in to the fish, turn it over, and then drizzle 1.5 Tbls of a decent Scotch whisky on the flesh of each fillet.



Then goes the rest of the cure for each on top of the soused fillet.  Close the bags, fold up the sides, and place them on a half-sheet pan, initially skin side down.



Cover with a second sheet pan and weight them down.  With two fillets I upped the weight from 8 lbs to 10.



Back into the refrigerator for some curing time.  The initial trial came out high on the salt side.  My belief is that was due to the thickness, or lack of it, of the Sockeye filets compared to what Brian Polcyn would get in MI.  So I adjusted the curing time from 36 hours down to 24 hours.  During the curing cycle I turned the fish from  skin side down to skin up after 6 hours, then back to skin down 12 hours later for the final 6 hours of the 24 hour total.

After curing each fillet got a good rinse under cold running water for ~ 2min, blotted dry with paper towels, then onto an elevated rack over a sheet pan and back into the fridge to dry for 12 hours to set up a good pellicle.

Early this morning the temp outside was 37 °F, and the cured, rinsed and dried fish got 6 hours of Bradley Alder smoke.  Smoker cabinet temps ran from ~ 50 °F at the start to a high of 61 at the finish.  The end product ...



The smoked filets caught 4 hours of chilling in the refrigerator and are now wresting under plastic wrap.  A little QC sample en-route was fantastic.  This is really good stuff!  The wife is very pleased.

The final cure formulation

For each 1.5 lb of Salmon fillet:
125 g Kosher salt
62.5 g sugar
62.5 g brown sugar
6 g (1 tsp)  Cure # 1
3 g (1 tsp) white pepper
1.5 g (1/2 tsp) ground bay leaf

1.5 Tbl Scotch whisky
« Last Edit: December 13, 2010, 11:39:51 PM by BuyLowSellHigh »
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Offline aces-n-eights

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Re: Cold Smoked Scotch Salmon -- in SE TX !
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2010, 06:18:12 PM »
Beautiful!  Those look awesome!  Just out of curiosity, and if you don't mind me asking, what do you have to pay for Alaskan sockeye in your area?
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Offline jiggerjams

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Re: Cold Smoked Scotch Salmon -- in SE TX !
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2010, 06:19:15 PM »
Very rich in color. Thanks for the walk through.

JJ

Offline BuyLowSellHigh

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Re: Cold Smoked Scotch Salmon -- in SE TX !
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2010, 06:27:50 PM »
Beautiful!  Those look awesome!  Just out of curiosity, and if you don't mind me asking, what do you have to pay for Alaskan sockeye in your area?

A lot! 

On sale, $8.99/LB; regular price, $10.99/lb.
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Offline classicrockgriller

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Re: Cold Smoked Scotch Salmon -- in SE TX !
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2010, 07:13:40 PM »
Not a fish guy but the step process is an awesome job. 

A++.

Offline Ka Honu

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Re: Cold Smoked Scotch Salmon -- in SE TX !
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2010, 07:31:10 PM »
I have to admit, I misread the subject and immediately clicked on what I though was a post about Scotch and Sex.  I survived my initial disappointment and read it anyway, slowly realizing that you look to have hit this one out of the park (and, for the veg-heads, you even found a good use for canned tomatoes).  One minor (but important) typo correction - there's no "e" in "whisky" if you're talking about The Macallan and its Scottish brethren.

Offline Tenpoint5

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Re: Cold Smoked Scotch Salmon -- in SE TX !
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2010, 07:51:53 PM »
Nice write up Eric looks Great
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Offline classicrockgriller

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Re: Cold Smoked Scotch Salmon -- in SE TX !
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2010, 08:12:18 PM »
I have to admit, I misread the subject and immediately clicked on what I though was a post about Scotch and Sex.  I survived my initial disappointment and read it anyway, slowly realizing that you look to have hit this one out of the park (and, for the veg-heads, you even found a good use for canned tomatoes).  One minor (but important) typo correction - there's no "e" in "whisky" if you're talking about The Macallan and its Scottish brethren.

No e in Whiskey? Geez, it took me years to realize it had a h in it. Thought it was Wiskey. ;D

Offline DTAggie

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Re: Cold Smoked Scotch Salmon -- in SE TX !
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2010, 08:27:28 PM »
Mighty fine indeed Eric

Offline BuyLowSellHigh

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Re: Cold Smoked Scotch Salmon -- in SE TX !
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2010, 11:46:27 PM »

  One minor (but important) typo correction - there's no "e" in "whisky" if you're talking about The Macallan and its Scottish brethren.


Dang KH, you got me.  Seems even with the proper Scottish form staring me in the face I veered to that alternative version of English for spelling.  Thank you.  Corrected.
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Offline Kummok

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Re: Cold Smoked Scotch Salmon -- in SE TX !
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2010, 01:27:42 AM »
Very nice "drunken salmon" Eric! Around here, The Macallan SHM 1976 is a step above "decent" ... ( in Nov of this year The Macallan sold a bottle of '64 Year Old in Lalique' for $460,000 (£288,000) @ Sotheby’s in NYC!!) Hope your Sockeye appreciated that 1.5 tbl ... ;) ;D

Offline BuyLowSellHigh

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Re: Cold Smoked Scotch Salmon -- in SE TX !
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2010, 03:34:35 AM »
Very nice "drunken salmon" Eric! Around here, The Macallan SHM 1976 is a step above "decent" ... ( in Nov of this year The Macallan sold a bottle of '64 Year Old in Lalique' for $460,000 (£288,000) @ Sotheby’s in NYC!!) Hope your Sockeye appreciated that 1.5 tbl ... ;) ;D

Kummok, you have a great eye for fine Scotch Whisky.  I've had that bottle for more than 10 years and save it for very special occasions.  This salmon is for one of those.  It was but one less drink for me.  I don't know if the salmon appreciated it,  but I sure did.    ;D

Just so nobody thinks I am completely deranged,  I just checked the current price -- in the UK the 1976 vintage, 18 year old, currently sells for £419 = $665 with VAT,  ex VAT it's $565.  When I bought it, it wasn't even 3 figures.

edit - I had to go check this.  The auctioned bottle sold last year at Sotheby's was billed as 64-year old vatted from three casks of 1942, 1945 an 1946 vintages.  The decanter was probably worth more than the whisky inside.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2010, 03:52:53 AM by BuyLowSellHigh »
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Offline SouthernSmoked

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Re: Cold Smoked Scotch Salmon -- in SE TX !
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2010, 03:56:51 AM »
Dang, looks great and a very nice write up Eric.
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Offline deb415611

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Re: Cold Smoked Scotch Salmon -- in SE TX !
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2010, 04:11:57 AM »
Nice Eric!   

I use the 6-1's in my pizza sauce :D 

Offline OU812

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Re: Cold Smoked Scotch Salmon -- in SE TX !
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2010, 06:16:52 AM »
That salmon looks great!

I also thought that recipe was a little to salty, got the same book, and cut the salt back but kept the rest of the spices in there.

Wild caught Salmon goes for $10.99 + here too.