Salmon Wellington (Salmon en croûte) is a worthy centre-piece or alternate to adorn any table over the Christmas season. This recipe is take from Nigel Slater’s larger version, which uses 2 whole sides of salmon stacked one on top of the other with a cucumber filling. This smaller variety requires a 1.2kg centre cut piece of salmon fillet, which is then cut in half horizontally and creates 2 pieces which sandwich together the cucumber, dill and Dijon filling.
Baking on the BBQ doesn’t necessarily add a noticeable layer of smokey flavour but what it does do is free up oven space at the time of year when it seems everything needs to be roasted with lots of variations in oven temperatures. Taking this outside to the BBQ does help maintain the juiciness of the fish because of the damp air drawn in by the BBQ.
This recipe requires making at the time and baking off right away. The cucumber filling may be prepared a day in advance but due to the high water content of the cumber it’s important to assemble the Wellington and take to the BBQ to bake almost straight away because nobody likes a soggy bottom!
Feeds 6-8 people
- 1.2kg centre cut salmon fillet, skinned and pin bones removed
- 2 x 320g ready rolled all butter puff pastry sheets
- 1 cucumber
- 2 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp runny honey
- 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 20g pkt fresh dill
- salt and pepper
- 1 egg, beaten
- Slice the salmon in half horizontally to create a top and bottom to this salmon and cucumber sandwich.
- Cut the cucumber in half length-ways and scoop out the seeds using a teaspoon. Cut the cucumber into half centimetre slices and toss in a bowl with the mustard, honey, vinegar, chopped dill, and season with salt and pepper.
- Lay a sheet of baking parchment out and lay the first sheet of puff pastry on it before placing the bottom piece of salmon in the centre of that. Arrange an even layer of the cucumber filling across the salmon being sure to place it right up to the edges without going over.
- Place the second piece of salmon on top to complete the sandwich. Take a pastry brush and the beaten egg and brush a 1 inch border around the salmon ready for the second sheet of pastry to be added.
- Take the second sheet of puff pastry (you may have to roll out slightly larger depending on the height of salmon you have so it can seal properly) and lay over the salmon and gently use your hands to shape the pastry around the salmon, removing any air pockets and pressing down slightly around the edges to seal the 2 sheets of pastry together.
- Now take a fork and work around the wellington to seal the 2 sheets of pastry together and create a decorative finish. Use a knife to cut off the excess pastry and straighten up the sides leaving a 1 inch border of pastry around the salmon.
- Carefully place the salmon wellington onto a small roasting tray and put into the fridge for 30-45 minutes to chill both the pastry and the filling. *Puff pastry works best from chilled so do not skip or rush this step.
- Preheat the BBQ to 180-200c (350-375f) roasting / indirect heat with the lid down and vents open as applicable. Place a second slightly larger roasting tray on the BBQ in the area of roasting / indirect heat and preheat also.
- Remove the wellington from the fridge and brush all over with more of the beaten egg. Now using the tip of a sharp knife lightly score the surface of the wellington being careful to just score it and not to cut through the pastry exposing the salmon beneath. Keeping it on the tray it’s been on this far, place the salmon and tray onto the preheated baking sheet already on the BBQ in the area of roasting / indirect heat and close the lid.
- Bake for approx 30 minutes before taking a digital thermometer and carefully checking the core temperature of the salmon. For the salmon to be perfectly cooked it should reach 62c (143f) but beware the salmon will continue cooking once you remove it from the BBQ to rest so go ahead and remove around 58-59c (136-138f) and rest in the kitchen for 10-15 minutes.
*If the pastry is the perfect colour but the fish requires more cooking place a sheet of tin foil over the wellington to prevent it going too dark.
- Using a sharp serrated knife slice the Wellington and serve with any of the remaining cucumber filling and your choice of vegetables.