Irish Times-Food File by Marie-Claire Digby 2/7/2011
Graham and Saoirse Roberts produce some of Ireland’s best smoked fish products at their Connemara Smokehouse, situated right on the water’s edge at Bunnowen pier in Ballyconneely. Their cold and hot smoked salmon is superlative, but they also smoke mackerel, kippers and tuna – the latter is supplied to UK chef Rick Stein for his Padstow seafood restaurant.
The cold smoked tuna is a revelation – meaty, delicately smokey and sweet at the same time. As part of a smoked seafood platter it steals the limelight from its more common cousin the salmon. Roberts says he uses only Irish albacore tuna, line-caught in an environmentally-friendly way. You can buy this delicacy at the smokehouse, or from the couple’s website and it costs €15 for a 200g pack. Delivery of up to 25kg to addresses within Ireland adds a further €12. “If customers are visiting during June, July or August, they can come on one of our tours of the smokehouse which we run at 3pm every Wednesday”, Graham suggests (booking is advisable).
Saoirse suggests using the hot smoked tuna (€15/200g), in a salad with beetroot ribbons (pictured), while Graham prefers the cold smoked atop thin rounds of toast smeared with cream cheese, with a delicate sliver of cucumber. “Normally we serve it very simply, and it goes very well with some bubbly,” he says. See www.smokehouse.ie.