NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVEL TOP 10 IRELAND AND NORTHERN IRELAND: FOOD AND DRINK
Ireland’s smoked salmon deserves its own category. Salmon has been eaten in Ireland since prehistoric times and ties into Celtic mythology—the Salmon of Knowledge was considered the wisest of creatures. Smokehouses around the island smoke salmon with oak, beech, or turf, and restaurants typically serve it as an appetizer with brown bread.
Connemara Smokehouse in Ballyconneely, also certified organic, employs a slow process to ensure flavor and texture, fanning beech wood smoke around the fish in the kiln for up to ten hours and storing it in a cool room for another 24 hours. Take their Wednesday smokehouse tour in the summer to see filleting, salting, smoking, and slicing firsthand.
Connemara is Smokin’
Visit #Connemara Smokehouse to get a real feel for tradition and pride. #OldSmoky #Clifden
Visit Connemara smokehouse to get a real feel for tradition and pride. Graham had been smoking fish since he was a kid with his father and he knows the art and science of turning out a beautiful, velvety tasting smoked salmon. “I want to make a living, not a killing,” he tells me. Graham’s philosophy – pride, passion, perfection – are his guiding principles in everything he does. I was seriously impressed with this man -so go out and meet him. He offers smokehouse tours on Wednesday at 3PM in the summer that include demos of the smoking process. Else you can do tastings and walk-in any time to purchase some to take home. It’s the best smoked fish in Galway County and maybe Ireland!
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You will need:
- 50g (2oz) butter
- 400g (14oz) potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 800ml (1½ pt) chicken or vegetable stock
- 125ml (4½ fl oz) creamy milk (use half milk and half cream, or if you prefer, use all milk)
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
- 100g (3½ oz) sliced Connemara Smokehouse Smoked Salmon, cut into slivers, about 2cm x ½cm (¾in x ¼in)
Place the butter in a large saucepan and set it on a medium-low heat. Add the chopped potatoes and the chopped onion, then season with some salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir, then cover with a lid. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the chicken or vegetable stock, whichever you’re using, then increase the heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are completely soft. Whizz the soup in a blender, or use a hand blender, then return it to the pan and add the creamy milk, or the milk, whichever you’re using. You can add a little more stock or milk at this point if you’d like a thinner soup. Season to taste, stir through the chopped fresh dill, then ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle with the smoked salmon slivers and serve.