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Wine-Braised Salmon with Bacon and Mushrooms

Here is another Molly Stevens‘ inspired recipe. I have made some adjustments and the recipe here serves 2 people. The braising technique works very well with salmon, keeping it moist and injecting robust flavour into the fish. A perfect November in Vancouver dish!

1 thick skin-on salmon fillet, about 12 oz. (I used fresh red Spring)
1/4 lb. mushrooms – button mushrooms or a mix of specialty mushrooms
2 slices thick cut lean bacon, cut into 1/2″ slices
1 leek, well washed and chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
salt and pepper
1 1/2 c. light red wine
5-6 fingerling potatoes, halved and steamed
2 springs fresh thyme
1 T. unsalted butter
2 T. parsley, chopped

Heat oven to 375ºF. Clean and slice the mushrooms and put them aside.

Put half of the bacon in an ovenproof skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon has rendered most of its fat. Add the leek, carrot, shallot and salt and pepper, and sauté until vegetables are tender and beginning to brown, Pour in half of the wine and add the thyme. Boil to reduce wine by half and then add the remaining wine and return to simmer. (The braising base can be made ahead, covered, and kept until you are ready to cook the salmon.)

Place the second half of the bacon into a medium skillet, fry until crisp and remove to paper towels to drain. Add the mushrooms to the pan, season them with salt and pepper, and cook until they have released their liquid and begin to brown. Transfer them to a bowl. (Can be prepared ahead)

Season the salmon with salt and pepper, bring the braising liquid to a simmer, and place the salmon on top. Cover the pan tightly and braise in the oven for about 20 minutes, checking once halfway through and basting with the liquid. When salmon is just cooked through, remove from the oven, transfer salmon to a platter and cover it loosely with foil to keep warm while you finish the sauce.

Strain the braising liquid into the skillet used to cook the mushrooms and bacon, pushing on the vegetables to extract as much liquid as possible and bring to a rapid simmer over medium heat. Add 1 T. butter and the parsley, potatoes, bacon and mushrooms and heat through. Divide the salmon into 2 portions and spoon the sauce over top. Serve with a green vegetable.

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