Sunday, 1 November 2015

Salmon with Bois Boudran Sauce

Heston at home - How I have misjudged you! When the Fat Duck cookbook landed on my pile from Santa last year everything else seemed to take second place. With the dry ice theatrics and stocks consisting of whole cuts of expensive meats it was a real eye opener to the lengths that some will go to for three Michelin star status.

Thankfully for us mere mortals with a well-stocked kitchen there's Heston at home, a cookbook containing simplified versions of Fat Duck dishes that won't leave you contemplating giving up cooking altogether. It's a very underrated book that seems to sit in the shadows of the Fat Duck cookbook and the latest publication, Historic Heston.

Looking to get more use out of my sous-vide machine I decided that tonight's tea shall be the Salmon with Bois Boudran sauce, barely pronounceable so its got to be good, right? It's a dish consisting of water-bath cooked salmon with herb crushed new potatoes and a sauce containing most things found in your store cupboard......and also some things that may not be.

The sauce is actually from the Rothschild family history, brought to light by Michel Roux Sr who while working for the family came across this sauce that blends tomato ketchup, shallots, vinegars and Worcester sauce together with herbs. Heston seems to have modified the recipe somewhat from the original by adding light soy sauce.

Bois Boudran Sauce

This is a dish that you can typically finish in a couple of hours. Begin with the sauce by placing ketchup, sherry vinegar, Worcester sauce, Dijon mustard and light soy sauce together before adding blanched shallots, chopped tarragon and parsley along with some seasoning. Leave for a couple of hours, covered but try to keep it at room temperature to infuse.

Cooking the potatoes is simple enough with the aid of a pan, boiling water, salt and a little garlic. Crush them down with a fork adding a shallot confit (diced shallots softened in olive oil) along with tarragon, chives and parsley with a dash of white wine vinegar and wholegrain mustard. By this point the potatoes and the sauce had the same characteristics. On a side note, its refreshing to do a Heston recipe and end up with no waste, all the herbs that I bought were used in both the sauce and potatoes and the bin was surprisingly empty by the end.

Herbs and Shallot Confit
Salmon - Under Pressure

Last up, the salmon. Heston advises a temperature of 50C for 15 minutes to cook the salmon in. I'd read most people who had tried this found their fish to be too pink in the middle and off-putting. With this in mind I pushed the temperature to 56C for the same cooking time.

After crisping the salmon skin in a hot pan all that's left is to assemble and serve.

The Final Plate

I love this way of doing salmon, as soon as my fork touched the flesh pale pink flakes slid off the salmon. The taste? Wow! It just melts, the fish is excellent and needless to say I'll be doing this method again, simply brilliant. Go easy with the sauce as it is incredibly sharp but very tasty, as are the potatoes sporting similar characteristics to the Bois Boudran. Overall its a great dish to knock up quickly for a few people. Get yourself out and grab a sous-vide and make this, I beg you!

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