A month or so ago a close friend gave me a nice Rainbow Trout he’d bagged in Lunedale in the season, I had it in the freezer until we got some decent weather to smoke it. I looked at the weather and saw it was going to be relatively dry but a tad windy. I left the trout to defrost overnight and got stuck in today.
I put together my curing mix, using salt and brown sugar, roughly equal parts then cracked some pepper into the mix and a dash of Paprika. The mix was rubbed into the cleaned trout making sure to cover every inch and put it into a Tupperware box and in the fridge to cure while we took Alfie (Springer Spaniel) out for a nice breezy walk and a quick food shop.
I’m still a curing novice but I’m fine tuning my technique as I don’t want the fish to be too salty, so after about 4 hours curing I washed the mix off the trout off and dried it off.
The smoker was set away which proved bloody hard in the wind but I managed to get a log burning away and left it to break down and smoulder. After a short while the log was starting to lose its flame and the smoker was getting nice and hot, ready for me to sprinkle some Oak wood chippings over and pop the trout in on the grid above. I closed the inlet grill and the chimney and watched the smoker do its job. The smell is gorgeous and I just stand there and inhale the smoke that is quite powerful, it’s like walking through a small village full of old houses with real fires.
25 minutes later a quick peek reveals a nicely smoked fish which was brought in and it was my job to pick the lovely smoky creamy flakes off the bone. It is a bit time consuming but worth it.
With the fish stripped down, Alfie did manage to get a few bits that fell in the ‘drop zone’, the next step is all down to taste. On this occasion, I used soured cream (I’ve used cream cheese before which works well) a jar of creamy horse radish and a squeeze of lemon. Whacked in a food processor adding a little of the cream and horse radish, a crack of pepper and sea salt and the jobs a good ‘un.
My tip is sometimes recipes say cure overnight, however when I did, the fish came out too salty, but it’s all down to taste.