It’s springtime, and the salmon are flinging themselves up the raging currents of the White Knife river that surges past Winterfell, and the bears are lining up for their freshwater buffet (how does hibernation work in Westeros, anyway?)
Even though the weather is taking a turn for the better, we know that winter is always coming, so it’s never too early to set aside some stores for later.
Unfortunately, this recipe is so delicious that it doesn’t last long at all. I’ll admit that I only had salted butter when I made this, and I’ll also readily admit that I’m a salt fiend. It was all I could do to stop eating the still-warm salmon in order to let it set for the photo. So yeah, salted butter works great too, but it depends on your taste for salt. ;)
Potted meats were historically a way of preserving the ingredients in a world without refrigeration. The “because they ate spoiled meat” argument for why so many spices are used in old recipes is ridiculous. It’s also a rant for another day. Suffice to say that medieval folks were no more inclined to eat bad food than we are, and they were often considerably more clever about how to go about preserving many of their ingredients, from meats to edible flowers.
Potted Salmon Recipe
Prep: 30 minutes Makes: 2-4 small servings
Pairs well with: the rest of the white wine, fresh grapes or other fruit, a spring picnic
- 1/2 lb. boneless salmon
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 heaping tsp. dried juniper berries, crushed
- pinch each allspice, ginger, smoked salt
- 1/2 Tbs. minced parsley
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- crusty bread, to serve
Remove the skin from the salmon, if there is any, and discard. Set the salmon aside.
Combine the stock, wine, bay leaf, and spices in a medium pot with a lid. Bring everything up to a roiling boil, then remove from heat. Add the salmon to the hot broth, put the lid on the pot, and let sit until cooled, about 20 minutes.
When the salmon has cooled somewhat, transfer it to a small bowl and flake into small pieces with a pair of forks. Add in the parsley and a dash of the melted butter. Pack the salmon somewhat firmly into small jars or ramekins, then fill halfway up with the broth from broiling. Top off with just enough of the remaining melted butter that it covers the meat completely. Place in the fridge to set.
Should keep for at least several weeks in the fridge, but I doubt you can resist it that long. Let warm to room temperature before enjoying, and it’s great with lightly toasted bread.