Confit salmon with pommes noisettes
By keeping the salmon at a low temperature, the surface area changes colour very slightly, but the inside retains depth and is soft and smooth – like sous vide salmon.
Equipment and preparation: You will need a cooking thermometer to check the temperature of the oil in this recipe, plus a melon baller to shape the potatoes.
For the marinade
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 lemon, zest only
- few juniper berries, crushed
- 1 tbsp gin
- 4 salmon fillets, skinned
For cooking the salmon
- 1 litre/1¾ pint olive oil
For the pommes noisettes
Mix the marinade ingredients together. Add the salmon fillets and rub the marinade into the salmon. Leave for half an hour.
To cook the salmon, heat the olive oil in a pan large enough to hold the salmon in a single layer – this is important – the fish needs the residual heat from the base of the pan and will cook unevenly if in more than one layer.
Heat the oil to 55C and turn off the heat. Add the salmon and cook for 18–20 minutes. The temperature will drop to around 45C – if it gets any lower, return it to the heat until it rises again to 45C. Drain on kitchen paper.
For the pommes noisettes, use a melon baller to scoop out balls of the potatoes. Rinse in cold water, then put in a saucepan and cover in more cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 minute, then drain and leave to dry.
Heat the clarified butter in a frying pan large enough to hold the potatoes in a single layer. Add the potatoes and season. Cook on a medium to high heat, shaking the pan regularly so they cook all over, for between 8-10 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley if you like. Serve the salmon fillets with the pommes noisettes.
I cooked the potatoes in clarified butter, but they could also be cooked in olive oil at a slightly lower temperature for longer – with a pile of butter added at the end.