Friday, 2/11, was a warm 68 degrees F, so we smoked some wild Salmon in the new smokehouse. Life is hard.
I snaked the recipe from Hank Shaw, who has the great website Hunter Angler Gardener Cook. It’s simple and delicious.
1 medium wild Salmon Fillet
Marinade of Sea Salt, brown Sugar, and Water
Start about six hours before smoking, and marry-nate the salmon in this mixture. Then let it dry, skin side down, for another two hours.
This is a warm smoke cook, so here are the rough guidelines. Cold smoke is from about 70-100F, warm smoke is 100-130F, and hot smoke is 130-190F. These rough guidelines are for people who happen to own cooking thermometers.
Not us. Old timers around here would laugh at the idea of wasting money on a thermometer, when you can just open the damn door and stick your hand inside to see how warm the smokehouse is. Besides, they had those free advertising thermometers nailed up on the front porch (usually Coca-Cola). They would have pulled that down and used it. A lack of money leads to a surplus of creativity.
At any rate, the Salmon smokes for around two hours. After an hour, brush on some sweetener. Shaw uses birch syrup; we went with honey, as we have a beekeeper who lives a mile from here, as the bee flies. We have already seen one of his bees on some blooming crocus we have.
Naturally, after an hour and a half we got impatient and hungry, and finished the Salmon in the oven. It was a bit dry and overcooked, but still nice and smoky. It made superb Salmon cakes as well.
The last bit is fitting this thing for real winter cold smoking, which is going to take some serious labor, hooking up an old steel wood stove to this smoke mansion, in a way that will result in the whole thing not burning to the ground. Good thing my labor is free.