Bertie Thewes, Sales Director, Inverawe Smokehouses, Argyll

This marks the first recipe in a series of three, celebrating our sponsorship of the Field Magazine’s Macnab Challenge.

Bertie enjoys fine food and drink, and the great outdoors, so what better place to work than Inverawe. At the smokehouse, things are done in a traditional, slow and hands-on way. The production of the smoked fish takes anywhere from 36 to 72 hours. This lengthy smoking over oak logs, and not sawdust, imparts a rich and gentle flavour, as well as curing the fish in the process. The result is well worth the wait; spectacular shining, buttery smoked salmon and smoked trout (Bertie actually believes the  trout to be something of a hidden gem; whilst very proud of the salmon, he always plumps for the trout when given the choice!).

Bertie comes from a restaurant background and along with his family, shooting, fishing, cooking, travel and motorcycling play an important part of his non-working life.

Middle Eastern Inverawe Hot Roast Salmon Paired with Pol Roger Brut Vintage 2006

Given the popularity of Ottolenghi recipes floating around, we thought we ought to cast a fly at the cuisines of the Medittaranean, North Africa and Middle East. For years I have been using the recipes of the original and most wonderful chef, sadly no longer with us, called Arto der Haroutunion, a Syrian cook who wrote the most fantastic selection of books that I fell in love with long ago, and which produce fascinating results without having to really slave beyond all culinary capability. Arto’s receipes are earthy and real and they are written with a great deal of love. His book, ‘North African Cookery’ is well worth looking out.

This recipe uses our hot smoked salmon. The fish is cooked during the smoking process and the flavour is big enough to handle the addition of the herbs and spices. It is a very fast and easy light supper dish.

Serves 2

  • 240g Inverawe hot smoked salmon
  • Seeds of a small pomegranate
  • 1/2 a small cucumber – chopped into 1/2cm dice
  • 1/2 a red onion finely chopped
  • 1 handful basmati, 1 handful wild (you could just use 2 handfuls of Basmati – and don’t go for cheap rice, it isn’t nice)
  • 6 or so leaves of chopped mint
  • A small handful of roughly chopped coriander
  • Salt and pepper


  • Boil the rice in plenty of salted water – strain and rinse well to remove all the starch
  • Into a large saucepan pour a little slug of good extra virgin olive oil
  • Add a decent grind of black pepper and a pinch of Malden salt
  • Put the heat on to low and let the pepper and salt bubble gently in the oil to infuse while you break the fish into bite sized pieces
  • Return the rice to the warm oil and toss it all together then add the remaining ingredients, gently stirring it all through
  • Serve warm with a green salad dressed simply in good oil and a little lemon juice with some salt and pepper
  • Enjoy with a glass of Pol Roger Brut Vintage 2006
Vintage 2006 + giftbox for website
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