Salmon Rillettes

Rillettes is a traditional french dish that usually features shredded pork or duck, but salmon makes a delicious substitute in this dish. A perfect, hassle-free starter or topping for party canapes.


  • 1 lb. salmon fillet, skin on
  • 2 ½ cups fish stock
  • 3 fresh or dried bay leaves
  • 3 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 12 oz. smoked salmon
  • 1 tablespoon green peppercorns, crushed
  • salt, preferably sea salt
  • oven-baked toast, to serve
  • 6 small ramekins


1.  Put the fish, skin side up, in a wide saucepan just big enough to fit. Cover with the fish stock. Add the bay leaves, heat to simmering, then poach the fish for 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool in the liquid. Remove from the liquid and peel off the skin.

2.  Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet; add the smoked salmon, and sauté until just opaque. Cool completely.

3.  Using a fork, shred both salmons together. Put the remaining butter in a bowl and beat with an electric beater or wooden spoon until very soft (having the butter at room temperature makes this easier). Add the salmon and peppercorns and beat together. Taste and season well. Press the mixture into the 6 small ramekins, level the tops with the back of a knife, then refrigerate until set and firm.

4.  Remove from the refrigerator 15 minutes before serving so the rillette can return to room temperature, then serve with oven-baked toast.

Serves 6