Saturday, October 14, 2006

Pan-seared Salmon with Pinot Reduction

It’s ALL about the sauce. Really, you can’t go wrong reducing 2 cups of wine down to ½ cup and pouring it over some kinda meat.

We picked up 2lbs of nice fresh salmon today. I decided to smoke half of it. Here’s what I did with the other half.

Pan-Seared Salmon with Pinot Reduction

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups pinot noir wine
  • 1 sprig rosemary, plus 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 salmon steaks or fillets (6 to 8-ounces each), skin and bones removed


Cook sugar over medium heat in heavy-bottomed non-stick saucepan. Do not stir, just shake the pan occasionally to redistribute sugar until it liquefies and begins to turn brown, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and very slowly add the wine, stirring with a whisk until the caramelized sugar has dissolved, and then add the sprig of rosemary. Return to high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, approximately 10 to 15 minutes or until the sauce becomes a syrup and reduces to approximately ½ cup. When sauce is reduced, stir in balsamic vinegar and butter; turn heat to medium-low. Cook until butter melts. Season to taste with salt and pepper and remove rosemary sprig.


Preheat oven to 450f degrees. Season salmon on both sides with salt and pepper.* Heat a heavy, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat until it begins to smoke. Add just enough oil to make a light film, then place salmon in hot skillet and sear until nicely browned, about 1 minute. Flip the fish over and put the skillet in the oven. Roast for approximately 4 to 6 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers an internal temperature of 140 degrees F (salmon will be slightly opaque in thickest part). Remember the salmon continues to cook after it is removed from the heat source. Carefully remove salmon from pan and transfer onto individual serving plates. Spoon Pinot Noir Sauce over salmon and serve with chopped rosemary.

Served with carrots and golden beets, roasted in balsamic and basil mint; roasted new potatoes with rosemary.

*I used some of the salt that I had prepared for the brine, which included fragments of coarsely ground allspice, star anise, juniper berries, cloves, and pepper. I sprinkled this on the salmon when I was preparing the sal

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