Indulge in Luxury: Pinot Noir Braised Salmon Recipe

As a sommelier, I am always on the lookout for recipes that pair perfectly with fabulous wines. Today, I would like to share with you my latest discovery, the Salmon Braised in Pinot Noir recipe.

This dish is a favorite of mine for so many reasons. It’s incredibly flavorful, easy to make, and pairs beautifully with a good glass of red wine. If you are ever in need of a meal that will impress your dinner guests or even just treat yourself to something special, this recipe is an excellent choice.

The braising technique used in this recipe is what makes it stand out from other salmon recipes. Braising involves cooking the fish in a liquid over low heat until it’s perfectly tender and infused with flavor. In this case, the liquid is a delicious blend of pinot noir, bacon, mushrooms, and aromatics.

To prepare this dish, you’ll need fresh salmon fillets and a few other staple ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. Don’t worry if you’re not a skilled cook; this recipe is easy to follow and yields fantastic results every time.

So join me as I walk you through the steps of making this mouth-watering salmon braised in pinot noir recipe. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Salmon Braised in Pinot Noir (One Serving)
Salmon Braised in Pinot Noir (One Serving)

Are you a seafood lover looking for a new and exciting way to prepare your salmon fillets? Look no further than this delicious recipe for Salmon Braised in Pinot Noir.

What sets this recipe apart from other salmon recipes is the incredible depth of flavor that comes from braising the fillets in Pinot Noir. Coupled with savory bacon, earthy mushrooms, aromatic thyme, sweet shallots, and leeks, this dish is sure to tantalize your taste buds.

But it’s not just about the flavor – this recipe also boasts a variety of health benefits. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, high in protein, and full of nutrients that can help lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation.

And with a few simple substitutions or variations – such as using smoked salmon in place of fresh or pairing it with farro instead of potatoes – you can make this dish fit any dietary preference or meal plan.

Not only will you impress your dinner guests with this exquisite meal, but you’ll feel good about fueling your body with wholesome ingredients. So why not give this Salmon Braised in Pinot Noir recipe a try tonight? Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.

Ingredient List

“A feast for the senses – flavors that melt in your mouth”

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this delicious salmon braised in pinot noir recipe:

  • 2 (6 oz) salmon fillets, about 1 1/2 inches thick
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 slices of bacon, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 small leek, sliced crosswise into thin rounds and rinsed well
  • 4 oz small mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup Pinot Noir
  • 1 cup chicken broth

* Molly Stevens recommends using king salmon for this recipe if available.
* You can also use smoked salmon as a wine pairing.

The Recipe How-To

“Your taste buds will thank you for this masterpiece – Salmon braised in Pinot Noir”

Preparing the Fillets

Before starting to cook the salmon, it’s important to let it rest at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes. This will ensure even cooking throughout the fillets. While resting, season both sides of each fillet generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Sautéing the Mushrooms

To add depth and texture to the dish, slice a cup of small mushrooms into thin pieces. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt a tablespoon of unsalted butter and add in the sliced mushrooms. Cook for approximately 4-5 minutes or until nicely browned. Remove the mushrooms from the skillet and set aside.

Sautéing Shallots and Leeks

In the same skillet that you sautéed the mushrooms, cook a finely chopped shallot along with one chopped leek. Cook for around 4-5 minutes or until they begin to turn golden brown.

Removing Bacon Bits

Next, we’ll add some bacon bits to infuse more flavor into our dish. Cook 2 slices of bacon in a separate pan until crispy and remove from heat. Once cooled, chop them coarsely.

Braising the Pinot Noir Sauce

Add a cup of Pinot Noir to your skillet and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom with a wooden spoon or spatula while bringing it to a boil. Reduce heat slightly to let it continue simmering while adding in 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter and 4 teaspoons of freshly chopped thyme. Add in half of your previously cooked bacon bits.

Cooking the Fillets in Pinot Noir Sauce

Place your seasoned salmon fillets onto your saucepan that has been coated with a layer of braised pinot noir sauce mixture we just prepared. Let them sit there over medium-high heat for about 3-4 minutes. Once the edges have begun to turn opaque, add a bit more of the braised pinot noir sauce on top of each fillet.

Final Touches

Cover the skillet with a lid and let it continue cooking for 3-4 more minutes at medium-low heat or until the salmon has reached an internal temperature of 145°F. Sprinkle some more fresh chopped thyme, and your remaining bacon bits onto the fillets.


To serve, place your salmon fillets onto your desired plate and add spoonfuls of the mushroom mixture on top of each one. Drizzle with any remaining pinot noir sauce left in the skillet. Enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

“Red wine meets seafood in a divine union”

Don’t have pinot noir or prefer to use a different type of wine? No problem! This recipe is versatile and can be made with a variety of red wines such as cabernet sauvignon or merlot. White wine may also be used, such as a sauvignon blanc or chardonnay. Just keep in mind that the flavor and color of the dish will change depending on the type of wine you use.

For a variation on this recipe, try using different types of fish such as trout, halibut, or sea bass. Adjust cooking times accordingly based on the thickness of the fillets.

For a vegetarian version, simply omit the salmon and replace with sliced portobello mushrooms or your favorite root vegetables like carrots, celery and turnips for added flavor.

If you don’t have any fresh thyme, dried thyme can be substituted instead. Other herbs such as rosemary or sage can also be used to add depth of flavor to the dish.

And if you’re feeling adventurous and want to take this dish up a notch, try adding some bacon pieces to the braising liquid and infusing it with more smoky flavors. Or experiment with different toppings like a cherry sauce or tomato rocket relish for added zing.

Ultimately, this recipe is about adapting it to your individual tastes and preferences, so feel free to have fun with it and find what works best for you!

Serving and Pairing

“Savor the rich and complex flavors of Pinot Noir braised salmon”

Serving this salmon braised in Pinot Noir can be a delightful culinary experience. The rich and hearty flavors complement each other perfectly, making it well-suited to accompany more substantial dishes, such as roasted root vegetables or mashed potatoes. The velvety texture of the sauce pairs well with the wine and creates a harmonious unity with the salmon’s delicate flavor.

One excellent wine pairing suggestion for this dish is a Pinot Noir from Dundee Hills, renowned for its cherry-like aroma, which overlaps with the sauce’s sweet and spicy notes. The freshness of the wine gives a perfect balance to the dish’s richness, which will make your taste buds sing. You may also try serving it with a bottle of white wine to cut through the weightier sauce or even a port wine to bring out more dense flavors in the Pinot Noir sauce.

For an appetizer course, you might try pairing the salmon with smoked salmon, topped with tomato rocket salad tossed in extra-virgin olive oil vinaigrette. This combination of smoky, salty flavor layered on top of one another just makes sense- It’s like bread and butter or cookies and milk.

If you’re looking for something light yet nourishing to pair with your Salmon Braised in Pinot Noir for lunch, serve it atop farro drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice. The nutty farro does not steal the spotlight from the fish but still gives enough substance to support its lively flavor.

For additional ideas on what matches best with this dish, you may experiment with glazed salmon or even seared salmon fillet complemented by a cherry sauce. The result will be a heavenly combination that enhances both dishes’ unique attributes while making each stand out as brilliant on its own.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“A meal fit for a king – indulge in this succulent and flavorful salmon dish”

One of the great things about this salmon braised in Pinot Noir recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it. In fact, it may even taste better the next day as the flavors will have had more time to meld together.

To store, simply let the salmon cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. You can keep it in the fridge for up to three days.

When you’re ready to reheat, there are a few different options depending on your preference. If you want to maintain the texture of the salmon as much as possible, I would recommend gently reheating in a low oven or on the stovetop over low heat until it is warm throughout.

Alternatively, if you’re short on time, you can also microwave individual portions in 30-second intervals until heated through. Just be careful not to overcook it and dry out the salmon.

Leftover salmon can also be repurposed in a variety of ways. It makes a delicious addition to salads or sandwiches, or you could even mix leftover salmon with cream cheese for a tasty spread.

Overall, this salmon braised in Pinot Noir recipe is not only incredibly flavorful and elegant but also quite versatile when it comes to preparing ahead of time and storing leftovers – making it an ideal choice for busy cooks looking for impressive dishes without all the fuss.

Tips for Perfect Results

“Let your taste buds explore the depths of wine and cuisine with this recipe”

Now that you have all the ingredients and the recipe to make this delicious salmon braised in Pinot Noir, I want to share some tips with you to ensure perfect results.

First, when cooking salmon, it’s essential to not overcook it to maintain its tender texture. To avoid this, I suggest using a kitchen thermometer and waiting until the internal temperature reaches 145°F.

Next, if you can, try to use a good quality Pinot Noir for the braising liquid. The quality of the wine will ultimately affect the flavor of your dish. Consider sourcing a bottle from Dundee Hills in Oregon – this region is known for its exceptional Pinot Noirs.

When sautéing the shallots and leeks, try to caramelize them slightly to bring out their sweetness. This will add depth and complexity to your braising liquid.

To enhance the flavors further, I recommend adding sliced mushrooms and a few sprigs of fresh thyme to your Pinot Noir braising liquid. This will create a rich and earthy sauce that complements the salmon perfectly.

Finally, be sure to let your salmon fillets rest for a few minutes before serving to allow the juices to redistribute through the fish. This simple step ensures that every bite is juicy and flavorful.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to craft outstanding salmon fillets braised in Pinot Noir every time!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this salmon braised in Pinot Noir recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves seafood and wine. The aromas and flavors derived from the Pinot Noir imparts a unique depth of flavor that elevates the taste of the salmon fillet to perfection. The ingredients used are simple and easy to find, which makes it a great option for dinner parties or date nights.

Plus, there are several variations you can try with this recipe such as using different types of salmon or experimenting with the amount of wine used. Pairing this dish with an elegant white or red wine can also enhance your overall dining experience.

So why not give it a try? Dive into the magical world of combining salmon and Pinot Noir into one sumptuous dish. And let’s not forget Molly Stevens’ wise words: “if you want juicy and tender, braising is your guy.” Trust me, you won’t regret it!

Salmon Braised in Pinot Noir (One Serving)

Salmon Braised in Pinot Noir (One Serving) Recipe

This recipe appeared in the 06/09/09 issue of the Toledo Blade. They said that it was adapted from Molly Stevens' "All About Braising". This recipe is for a single serving and may be multiplied as needed. PUBLISHED NOTE: Using red wine to cook fish seems unusual, but its tart fruitiness cuts the richness of salmon and plays off the meaty mushrooms and bacon. INGREDIENT NOTE: The recipe calls for cremini mushrooms, but 'zaar won't take it.
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Servings 1 salmon fillet
Calories 544 kcal


  • bacon, 1 slice, uncooked, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces small mushrooms, cut into 1/4 inch slices (about 3/4 c)
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 small leek, finely chopped (1/2 c)
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped (1 T)
  • 1 cup light red wine, such as pinot noir or 1 cup beaujolais wine
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 6 ounces salmon fillets, 1 inch thick with the skin on, rinsed and patted dry


  • Cook's note: To clean leeks for this recipe, discard outer layer and trim the root end and dark green leaves. Cut crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces, place in a bowl and cover with cool water. Let sit for about 10 minutes to allow sediment to fall to the bottom of the bowl; drain and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Preheat over to 350°F.
  • Heat a medium skillet over medium heat, add bacon and cook for 8 minutes or until crisp. Transfer bacon to a small plate and pour all but a teaspoons of bacon grease into a small bowl.
  • Return the skillet to the stove and increase the heat to medium-high. Add 1 tsp of the butter and the mushrooms, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, ntil the mushrooms release their moisture and it then evaporates. Add to the bacon on the plate.
  • Return the skillet to medium high heat. Add the leek and shallot, stirring to coat with the butter and bacon fat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are starting to brown.
  • Add the wine and thyme and bring to a boil. Cook for about 3 or 4 mintes or until the wine has reduced by half.
  • Season the salmon lightly on both sides with salt and pepper then place in the skillet, skin side down. Cover tightly and transfer to the over.
  • Quick braise for 7 to 8 minutes, checking to make sure that the liquid is barely bubbling. (Reduce heat accordingly if it is bubbling too hard.).
  • The salmon will be done when it is opaque on the outside yet slightly translucent in the center. Transfer the cooked fillet to a service plate; cover loosely while you finish the sauce.
  • Use a fine mesh strainer to strain the liquid into a bowl, pressing on the vegetables and thyme to extract as much liquid and flavor as possible. Discard the solids.
  • Return the strained liquid to the skillet and place over medium heat.
  • Cook for a few minutes, until the wine is reduced is redced by one third, then whisk in the remaining tsp of butter.
  • Add the reserved bacon and mushrooms, stirring to combine.
  • Cook for a minute or so until heated through; taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
  • Spoon the sauce over the salmon and serve hot.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 576gCalories: 544kcalCarbohydrates: 24.3gProtein: 36.7gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5.9gCholesterol: 107.9mgSodium: 143.9mgFiber: 2.9gSugar: 6.2g
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