Salmon Braised in Pinot Noir

As I write this I am listening to Beyonce “All the Single Ladies”.  Just because you are cooking for one shouldn’t mean you have go through the painful task of dividing all the ingredients by four, or eating beans on toast every night.

So many recipes these days are designed to be made for four or more people, and for someone who didn’t do too well with maths at school I find this task extremely frustrating.  Surely I am not alone?

My hubby is away with work at the moment which means that I have some wonderful Michelle time to fill!  If you read my recipe for Prawn Stuffed Spicy Fish with Vermicelli last week you can probably guess that this means fish will most certainly be on the menu.

Sunday night I kicked back with a bottle of Pinot and cooked this wonderful braised salmon recipe which is specifically designed for the wine lover cooking for one.

I have to admit I was a little apprehensive about the use of a red wine with fish – however,  it works wonderfully and the sauce is to die for. Just sitting here writing about the dish has caused my mouth to water.

So my fabulous ladies here it is – the recipe for Salmon Braised in Pinot Noir


  • 1 slice uncooked bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 60g small mushrooms, cut into thick slices
  • Salt & Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small leek, white and light-green parts, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 small French shallot, finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 cup Pinot Noir
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 180g fillet of skin-on salmon (pin bones removed), rinsed and patted dry


Preheat the oven to 180C degrees.

Heat a frypan over medium heat, add the bacon and cook for about 8 minutes or until crisp. Transfer the bacon to a small plate; pour all but a teaspoon of the bacon fat into a small bowl.

Return the pan to the stove; increase the heat to medium-high. Add 1 teaspoon of the butter and the mushrooms, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms release their moisture and it then evaporates. Remove from the pan leaving as much fat in the pan as you can.

Return the pan to medium-high heat. Add the leek and shallot, stirring to coat with the butter and bacon fat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are starting to brown.

Add the wine and thyme and bring to the boil. Cook for about 3 or 4 minutes or until the wine has reduced by half.

Season the salmon lightly on both sides with salt and pepper, then place skin side down in the pan. Cover tightly and transfer to the oven. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes, checking to make sure the liquid is barely bubbling. (If it is bubbling too rapidly, decrease the oven temperature slightly.) The salmon will be done when it is opaque on the outside yet slightly translucent in the center.

Transfer the salmon to a serving plate and cover loosely with aluminum foil while you finish the sauce.

Use a fine-mesh strainer to strain the liquid into a bowl, pressing on the vegetables and thyme to extract as much liquid as possible; discard the solids. Return the strained liquid to the pan and place over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes, until the wine sauce has reduced by one-third, then whisk in the remaining teaspoon of butter. Add the reserved bacon and mushrooms, stirring to combine. Cook for a minute or so until heated through; taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

Spoon the sauce over the salmon. Serve hot.