My beefy, 20,000 BTU workhorse of an oven is crippled and this is the last meal that it cooked. As last meals, it’s not a bad way to go. This is one of those contradictory dishes that has dramatic, delicious appeal but may be one of the easiest meals you’ve ever cooked. By slow roasting the salmon at low heat in the oven, it braises in its own delectably healthy omega-3 fatty acids and glazing with the seasoned wine reduction gives you a burgundy burnished fillet that remains tender and succulent despite the 40 minute cooking time. In fact, this is a great dish for entertaining cuz except for brushing the glaze onto the salmon every 10-5 minutes you’ve got plenty of time to chat with your guests or mix cocktails while the salmon and your oven do their magic. I chose a Shiraz for the glaze cuz the spicy notes go well with the zesty ginger, smoky maple syrup, and tangy balsamic vinegar but any full bodied red wine like Pinot or Merlot would work. The soy sauce gives you that savory, umami background that makes the rest of the flavors sing. Did I mention that this dish is ridiculously easy yet flavor filled? So unless you’re experiencing a heat wave (luckily this was made before the mercury climbed into the 80s), get thee to your local fishmonger and pick up a nice toothy piece of salmon, you won’t be disappointed.
1 c Shiraz or any full bodied red wine
1/4 c mirin or sake (you could also substitute sweet sherry in this instance)
1/2 c light soy sauce **if cooking gluten-free look for tamari soy sauce that doesn’t have wheat in the ingredients as not all tamari is wheat-free
1/2 c balsamic vinegar
1/4 c maple syrup
2 tbsp light brown sugar
3 inches ginger, peeled and lightly smashed with the flat of a knife
3 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed with the flat of a knife
4 5-oz salmon fillets, pin bones removed
Preheat oven to 225F or the lowest setting you have. Cover a large baking pan in aluminum foil and set aside.
In a small saucepan combine wine, mirin, soy sauce, maple syrup, ginger, and garlic. Bring to a boil then briskly simmer till reduced to 1/3 of the original volume, about the consistency of ketchup, ~20 minutes. Discard ginger and garlic. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place salmon skin side down on baking pan and brush all over with wine glaze. Bake till a sharp knife inserted into the flesh goes through easily with no resistance for medium doneness. If you want medium-rare there should be some resistance ~half way through the fillet. While the salmon is baking, brush with glaze every 10 minutes. With four 1-inch thick fillets and convection it takes me ~40 minutes. I like to serve this with starchy pan-roasted potatoes but any creamy, melt in your mouth carb will do (like the saffron-mushroom rice pilaf pictured above). Makes 4 servings.
**Since only a small amount of the glaze will be used on your salmon, I highly doubt that the sodium content per serving will actually be 2 g(?!) and since any amount of alcohol or sugar (be it maple syrup, honey or actual sugar) will give you a “C” grading from nutritional program take the infographic below with a grain of salt (pun intended hehe)