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Pancetta Wrapped Salmon with Mushroom and Barley Risotto

This year (2008) sees the 10th birthday of Loch Fyne Restaurants (, the UK’s most popular seafood restaurant group.

To celebrate its 10th year, Loch Fyne Restaurants has compiled a list of ‘top ten’ sustainable fish dishes, with contributions from staff, guests and partner companies.

Mark Derry, Managing Director and company founder said: “We asked some of our favourite people to give us their most loved recipes using fish and shellfish from sustainable sources. We discovered that many of the people we work with day to day - the oyster farmer from the loch, the salmon farmers, even our waiting staff - have a real talent in the kitchen so we are excited to share their recipes as we celebrate our birthday.”

This recipe comes from 10 Scottish chef Nick Nairn, who likes to serve up Pancetta Wrapped Salmon with Mushroom and Barley Risotto . . .

Ingredients for Pancetta Wrapped Salmon

4 x 115g (4oz) salmon fillets
Freshly ground sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
8-12 slices of pancetta
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
175g (6oz) pearl barley, washed and drained
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
425ml (3/4 pint) chicken or vegetable stock or water
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
150ml (1/4 pint) red wine
225g (8oz) chantrelles (or other mushrooms, such as ceps, porcini, field mushrooms or large flat mushrooms)
50g (2oz) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon each chopped fresh tarragon and parsley

How to make Pancetta Wrapped Salmon

  • Pre-heat oven to 220°C / 425°F / Gas Mark 7.
  • Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper and then wrap each in 2 - 3 slices of the pancetta. Cover and set aside.
  • Heat a large frying pan until hot.
  • Pour in the olive oil, then add the barley and stir until it starts to turn golden - about 5 minutes.
  • Add the onion and garlic and continue frying for 5 - 10 minutes, until the barely starts to brown. Don't let it burn.
  • Add the stock, soy sauce, red wine and seasoning.
  • Bring to the boil and simmer gently until nearly all the liquid is gone - this should take at least 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, brush or scrape the mushrooms clean (slicing any bigger ones to size) and heat another frying pan until it is hot.
  • Add 25g (1 oz) of the butter and the mushrooms. Stir-fry until light coloured - about 4 - 5 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the stir-fried mushrooms to the barely and mix together.
  • Remove from the heat and cover with tin foil pierced with holes to allow the barely to swell and absorb the liquid.
  • Leave it in a warm place for 15 minutes. (At this stage, you could let the 'barlotto' cool, reheating it for serving up to 24 hours later.)
  • Whilst waiting for the 'barlotto' to rest, place the pancetta-wrapped salmon on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and bake for approximately 10 minutes until the pancetta is golden.
  • Pop the 'barlotto' pan back on the heat, add the tarragon and parsley, and the remaining butter.
  • Stir well until hot, taste for seasoning and divide between for plates.
  • Carve each fillet into three slices, place on top of the 'barlotto' and serve.

Serves 4

Loch Fyne Restaurants