Salmon, Fennel & Vermouth Poached Rillette

A beautiful and elegant dish. Serve as a starter, on a platter or just because a treat is in order.

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook time: 20 min

Serves: 4 - 6


150ml Vermouth (plus an extra dash)
100ml water
2 spring onions, chopped (separate the white tips and green stems)
1 orange, zest and juice
Small bunch of fennel, stalks and fronds
8 white peppercorns
150g salmon fillet (skin on)
150g double smoked manuka salmon
1 tbsp lemon juice
40g butter, melted

Horseradish Creme Fraiche
200g creme fraiche
2 tbsp fennel fronds, chopped
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 tbsp horseradish
salt and black pepper


Pour the vermouth and water into a saucepan, add the white of the spring onion, orange juice and zest, fennel stalks and peppercorns.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. 

Reduce the heat, then gently add the salmon fillet and poach for 4 minutes (I like to just give the saucepan a gentle sway every now and again, coating the fish). This liquid smells divine.  Remove from the heat and allow the salmon to cool in the pan.

Take a bowl and when cool, lift from the liquid, remove the skin and flake the flesh of the poached and smoked salmon, add the lemon juice, butter, chopped green of the spring onion and half of the fennel fronds. Add another dash of vermouth, then taste and season with plenty of black pepper and a little salt. DO NOT EAT IT ALL, because it is SOO tempting.

Spoon into a jar or ramekin and chill until set.

Crème Fraiche: mix all the ingredients together, taste and season.

Serve: Serve at room temperature with crackers, chicory leaves, toasted Vogels or on a platter with crackers.  Also, the rillettes is gorgeous if you line a ramekin with smoked salmon, fill, close and serve as individual starters.

Vermouth Poached Salmon Rilette - Jax Hamilton Cooks

Jax Says: If you don’t have crème fraiche, sour cream is a fabulous alternative.  And if you love capers, chuck a few in for a salty alternative.