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Vinho Verde Rosé Wine and Salmon Rillettes

Susan Benton
Course Appetizer


  • 1 pound center-cut skinless and boneless wild caught salmon fillet
  • 2 tablespoon anise-flavored liqueur such as Pernod
  • Freshly ground pink sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 celery rib
  • 1 leek halved lengthwise
  • 1 small onion quartered lengthwise
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 cup Vinho Verde rosé
  • 4 cups water
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 2 large shallot minced ( heaping 1/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream or creme fraiche
  • 1/4 pound or 8 ounces of skinless hot-smoked salmon flaked
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
  • Clarified butter for sealing optional
  • Toasted baguette slices for serving


  • Place the salmon fillet in a shallow baking dish and sprinkle it with anise liqueur, 1 tablespoon on each side. Season with salt and pepper, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • In a heavy bottom large saucepan, add leek, celery, bay leaf, peppercorns, onion, wine, and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer for 20 minutes and add the fresh salmon to the pan. Cover and remove from heat immediately. After 10 minutes, remove the peppercorns, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Remove the salmon and flake the salmon.
  • While the salmon is in the refrigerator melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a skillet. Add the shallot and cook over moderate heat until softened. Do not brown. Let cool.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter until smooth. Whisk in the sour cream. Add the cooled shallot, along with the flaked poached and flaked hot smoked salmon, chives, lemon juice, olive oil and paprika and stir until combined. Season the rillettes with salt and white pepper.
  • Pack the rillettes into ramekins, canning jars, or pots, leaving a half inch of space at the top of each. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Top with melted clarified butter, and seal with a lid or by pressing a sheet of plastic wrap onto the surface.
  • The rillettes can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
  • Serve with toasted baguette slices.
  • Suggested Wine Pairing: Vinho Verde white and rosé.