Sunday, 1 August 2010

Inish Turk Beg Hot-Smoked Salmon

Inish Turk Beg Honey-Roast Hot-Smoked Salmon


In my second year at university, I entered the ballot for college accommodation and ended up moving into a house with a female friend and four unknown male entities.

By then, said friend and I were drifting apart, which was a bit unfortunate, and the unknown male entities turned out to be a tad over-excitable, which was even more unfortunate as it manifested itself in the oddest manner. In short, they seemed to spend their days yelling, and giggling, and throwing wads of moistened toilet tissue at each other and around the house.

One day I even woke up to a football being thrown repeatedly - and hard - against the wall by one of them in a travesty of the ghettoblaster scene in "Say Anything". John Cusack he was not - if he was, I might have forgiven him.


I would have preferred this

To be honest, for the most part it was fine - I wasn't indoors much by then anyway, as it was around this time I got together with my husband. But meal-times were still often a battle-scene - once, when nobody was in, I made a huge acacia omelette, dished up half with some rice and then went into my room to eat. Twenty minutes later, I returned to the kitchen to find everyone was back and the other half of my omelette was gone. I was furious and inconsolable - acacia leaf is hard to come by anyway, and it had been expensive. Of course, no-one confessed. B*stards.

Another time, our local Sainsbury's went a bit mad and started selling whole sides of smoked salmon for a fiver plus "Buy One, Get One Free". Of course, the student population of Cambridge then lived off nothing but for about a fortnight. And as a result, there were constant arguments about which packs belonged to whom, and how the packs took up too much space in the fridge (they were mahoosive), and even rabid and wild accusations of theft.

The point is, I've had fights over smoked salmon before. And it wasn't even good smoked salmon.

So when I was given some decent salmon to try (I say "given" - I kinda used emotional blackmail on a friend), I was in raptures.

Inish Turk Beg Honey-Roast Hot-Smoked Salmon (Packet)


Inish Turk Beg is a private island in Clew Bay, off the West Coast of Ireland and means "small island of the wild boar". On the island itself, agriculture has always been a mainstay - sheep, pigs, cattle, and potatoes. But Clew Bay itself is home to an organic salmon farm, certified by the Irish Organic Farmers and Growers Association, where the salmon are reared in the Class A1 waters in the Atlantic, fed only natural ingredients, and grown to maturity in a low stock density environment.

The salmon I tried was Inish Turk Beg Honey-Roast Hot-Smoked Salmon. This Irish salmon is apparently lightly salted and slowly roasted over beechwood and local seaweed, and basted with an organic honey.

I was curious as to whether the honey might be too strong for the delicate flavour of the salmon, but I found it merely enhanced its natural sweetness. It also meant that each fat, tender slice had a slightly caramelized glaze which the husband and I fought over.

We served the salmon simply with baked potatoes and a leafy salad - I rather cheekily gave myself more fish and less potato, and I definitely got the better deal as this softly flakey hot-smoked salmon is a real treat even when eaten by itself (in fact, a slice may have found its way into my stomach before I'd even dished up).

Inish Turk Beg also produce Irish bacon and I have my eye on their Smoked Streaky Belly - fat slices of bacon which are hand-trimmed, hand-rubbed with a dry cure of cloves, Muscovado sugar, apricot, and foraged rosehips, and then hung and cold-smoked over beechwood for nine days.

And now I'm hungry again.

Inish Turk Beg
www.inishturkbeg.com

15 comments:

  1. Godamitgirl you are making me hungry!

    Saw some of this stuff, I think, at the Bord Bia (Irish Food Board) photography class thing week before last. Looked delish but we couldn't try it as it hadn't been stored in refrigerator so was just there for show/ photographing.

    Shame as I'd have liked to try it. Though am even MORE interested in that bacon you mentioned.

    Being a bit of a bacon fiend in secret. Well, not that secret really.

    FISH!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ooh, thanks for this! It sounds lovely.

    In Welsh, the name would be Ynys Twrch Bach.

    I love it when the relationship between the Celtic languages is easy to spot.

    ReplyDelete
  3. @Kavey - Fish!

    I would have loved to have come to that photography class - Alastair Hendy is a hero of mine.

    @nici_b - "Ynys Twrch Bach" - I love it when you teach me Welsh!

    ReplyDelete
  4. OOH looks delicious.Would be a lovely place to visit,had many holidays in S. West Ireland but never farther North.Seafood always good and very fresh.

    ReplyDelete
  5. That looks genuinely delicious and I'm with you on the spuds with it; not so certain about salad, but one of my strange fantasies is putting bacon and smoked salmon together; I'll let you know when I've gathered up the courage/thought of something that might work!

    Speaking of bacon; for Christmas I'm going to get some of the Fermanagh Black Bacon - featured on the Hairy Bikers Road Trip - I love bacon; such a versatile foodstuff!

    ReplyDelete
  6. @Northern Snippet - I'm ashamed to say I've never been to Ireland!

    @chumbles - Ooh, not heard of that one. There's a black bacon from Sussex (I think) which I like made with molasses and Guinness

    ReplyDelete
  7. I adore Say Anything. I even had a poster of it on my wall throughout uni, the shot of Lloyd (*sigh*) with the ghetto blaster outside her window.

    Anyway.

    That salmon looks nice.

    ReplyDelete
  8. You ate smoked salmon at uni???

    I'd be lucky to make a tin of corned beef last a week. Bah!

    ReplyDelete
  9. omg, hot smoked salmon is such a gorgeous thing. Trout too. This looks gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
  10. @Sharmila - I really need to watch that film properly. I heart John Cusack. He is amazing in the Grifters.

    @Food Urchin - But it was two humungous packs for £5! Cheap as chips!

    @Su-Lin - I think Inishturkbeg do trout and tuna as well actually - and yes, really good!

    ReplyDelete
  11. The package design looks like it could be a cd! Remember those? ;)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I wants it! Looks lush :^P

    ReplyDelete
  13. @Dennis K - CD? Ha, I remember cassettes :)

    @Pavel - Tis lush!

    ReplyDelete
  14. brilliant- I'm going to have to try this myself though, as my hot-smoked salmon is a bit gross with the wood I've been using.

    ReplyDelete
  15. The name (in Gaelic Innis Torc Beag) actually means "Island of the small wild boar". It's the boar that's small, not the island!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to comment!