In my previous blog I showed you howto take the centre choice cut from a side of salmon and turn it into a beautiful Salmon Wellington. The question is then what to do with the trimmings that are left over. This recipe is a God send because it takes care of the off-cuts and is also great for those who like to get ahead with their Christmas cooking. This pate once made, will be fine in the fridge for 7 days thanks to the clarified butter seal.
Smoking used to be a preserving technique but today it’s very popular to add a layer of flavour to food with the addition of wood smoke. This recipe not only allows for the addition of wood smoke but it also takes some of the food prep out of the kitchen and lighten the load on the rest of your appliances.
It’s great served in individual Kilner jars or ramekins as a first course for a sit down dinner, or served as I’ve done here in a larger pot if you’re putting on a buffet for Christmas day evening or Boxing day.
Makes 900g of Pate
- 600g salmon, cut into equal sized pieces
- 280g full fat cream cheese
- 90g creme fraiche
- 3 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- juice and zest of 3 lemons
- 1/2 pkt chives
- sea salt flakes and freshly cracked black pepper
- 100g unsalted butter
- whiskey wood chips, soaked in water 20 mins
- Set up the BBQ for 170-200c (350-375f) roasting / indirect heat with the lid down and vents open as applicable.
- Arrange the salmon pieces on a perforated grail tray and place on the cooking grate in the area of roasting / indirect heat. Take a handful of wood chips, drain and scatter on the hot coals and repeat on the second bank of coals.
*If smoking on a gas barbecue ensure the smoking pouch or box is producing smoke before you put the salmon on to cook.
**If you’re new to smoking on your BBQ check out my blog Beginners Guide to Smoking on Your BBQ for the complete run down.
- Cook the salmon for 8-10 minutes depending on how large the salmon pieces are and cook to a core temperature of 62c. Remove from the grill and allow to cool.
- Once the salmon has cooled place in a bowl with the cream cheese, creme fraiche, mustard, lemon and chives and mix to combine. You want the pate to be an even texture with no distinct pieces of salmon visible. Taste and season with salt and pepper and if you feel it’s lacking in mustard then add a little extra. The same can be done with the lemon if you feel it’s a little oily or heavy and needs lifting with a little additional citrus.
- Thoroughly wash the Kilner jars or ramekins and dry upsidedown in a warm oven before removing to cool. Melt the butter in a pan until liquid and set to one side.
- Pack the jars or ramekins with the pate leaving space for a layer of clarified butter that will act as an airtight seal helping to preserve the pate. Pour or spoon in the clear butter from the pan, leaving the cloudy white solids at the bottom of the pan. Decorate the top of each pate with some chives or a bay leaf and some pink peppercorns and leave to set.
- Once cool place in the fridge where they can keep for up to 7 days. Serve with crackers or little Melba toast.