Slow-Cooked Salmon with Creamy Leeks and Red Wine Butter

  • Serves

    serves 4


Gordon Hamersley, the chef and owner Hamersley's Bistro in Boston, created this dish to showcase Alaskan Yukon king salmon, which is the fattiest of all the Pacific salmon. Gently roasting the salmon at a low temperature allows its fat to melt slowly and baste the flesh, yielding a luscious, ultratender piece of fish.


  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 shallots (1 roughly chopped, 1 finely chopped)
  • 8 unsalted butter (6 tbsp. softened, 2 tbsp. diced)
  • 2 chopped flat-leaf parsley plus 1 tbsp. thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 medium leeks (white and light green parts only), julienned and washed
  • 12 tbsp. finely chopped marjoram
  • 192 tbsp. finely chopped thyme
  • 1 tsp. crushed fennel seeds
  • 13 cup dry vermouth
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 4 (8-oz.) skinless boneless salmon filets
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped


Step 1

Combine red wine and roughly chopped shallots in a 1-quart saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Boil until reduced to 1 tbsp., about 13 minutes. Strain the wine through a fine sieve into a bowl; discard shallots. Let wine cool. Add softened butter and chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper. Stir with a fork until well combined. Transfer red wine butter to a sheet of plastic wrap and roll tightly into a 1"-thick cylinder about 5" long. Twist ends of plastic wrap to seal tightly. Chill until firm. (The red wine butter may be made and refrigerated up to 1 week in advance.)

Step 2

Heat remaining butter in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, marjoram, thyme, and fennel, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the vermouth and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost all the liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Add the cream and lemon juice and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are soft and the cream has thickened, about 25 minutes. (Add a little water if leeks become dry.) Season with salt and pepper. Keep leeks warm, covered, over low heat.

Step 3

Heat oven to 275°. Arrange the salmon on a foil-lined baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine the remaining shallots, olive oil, and garlic. Rub salmon with the shallot mixture and season with salt and pepper. Roast the salmon until medium rare, about 12 minutes. Cut four ¼"-thick slices of the red wine butter, place 1 on top of each filet, and let melt slightly in the oven, about 3 minutes.

Step 4

To serve, spoon some of the leeks onto the center of 4 plates. Using a spatula, place a salmon filet atop each. Garnish with remaining parsley.

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