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Argyll Hot Smoked Salmon

One of the purposes of this blog is to share what's on our doorstep in Argyll and I'll say now that this is not an advert or a sponsored post! This is just a product that I love that is produced locally and is delicious!

The Argyll Smokery is located in Dunoon and proudly produces their small batch product entirely by hand, and their award-winning product is well worth its place on your dinner table. Their premises are in Sandbank Business Park but local outlets such as the Cot House Garage supply the products, and you can buy an entire side of cold smoked salmon or trout on their website, along with smoked shellfish, pate and hot smoked salmon.

We decided the kiln roasted hot smoked salmon was going to be the star of the show for our starter on Christmas day. When I took the hot smoked salmon and the pate to the till, the assistant shyly admitted he didn't know what it tasted like and was curious to know how I would serve them. The pate is great on its own, thickly slathered onto freshly toasted sourdough or on oatcakes. The salmon - well, we had a Raymond Blanc recipe in mind for that.

Don't be put off by the fact that it's a recipe from a Michelin-starred chef! This recipe is deceptively easy and you can make it even easier for yourself with a couple of minor tweaks. The recipe calls for some ingredients that we don't have access to locally but that's easily overcome and does the recipe no harm.

Hot smoked salmon, beetroot salad and horseradish creme fraiche - by Raymond Blanc

Serves 4


For the beetroot salad

120g hot-smoked salmon (preferably bradon rost)

480g mixed small beetroot (this was one of our swaps because beetroot options are limited in our local supermarket, so we used regular beetroot).

½ finely chopped shallot

2 tsp aged balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp water

2 pinches sea salt

2 pinches freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing

100g creme fraiche

1 tsp grated fresh horseradish (we don't have this available locally so we bought creamed horseradish - add it little by little till you get the balance you like).

2 pinches sea salt

Pinch of cayenne pepper (we omit this)

Squeeze of lemon juice

For the garnish

A few sprigs of dill

To make the beetroot salad If you've bought raw beets, then put the beetroot into a large saucepan, add enough cold water to cover and bring to the boil. Reduce the head and simmer for about an hour until tender. Drain and leave to cool slightly, then peel. Or - alternatively - buy pre-boiled beetroot (do NOT get the stuff in vinegar in jars!) and cut into even-sized wedges, then toss in a bowl with the remaining salad ingredients.

To make the dressing In a bowl, mix all the ingredients together until evenly combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

To serve Divide the beetroot equally between the four plates, break the salmon into generous flakes and scatter on top, then spoon on dressing and garnish with dill.

Et voila! Ooooh la la!

Hot smoked salmon, beetroot salad and horseradish creme fraiche

PS: If you're boiling the beetroot from scratch, rubber gloves would be a good idea. In fact, even if you're not...you might end up with pink fingers.

Recipe from Raymond Blanc, Kitchen Secrets (Bloomsbury, 2011).

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