Pine-Smoked & Maple-Glazed Wild Salmon Recipe

  • 1 to 2 large handfuls green pine needles
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 cup grade-B, freshly tapped maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons freshly milled black pepper
  • Four 6-ounce salmon fillets, patted dry
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • One 9-inch round wire cooling rack
  1. Prepare a medium-high-heat fire, with the flames occasionally licking the grill grate. Let it burn for at least 30 minutes. Whilst the fire heats, soak the pine needles in the bourbon.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the syrup, mustard, and pepper. Season the salmon generously with salt and coat with the glaze.
  3. Place a large cast-iron skillet upon the grill grate. Let it heat until very hot. Using tongs or one's own gloved hand, press the needles into the bottom of the skillet, taking care not to drizzle combustible bourbon into the flames, and place the rack on top of the needles. Place the fish on top of the rack and cover the pan. Cook until the fish is just opaque, about 15 minutes for medium. Serve, brushed with additional glaze, if desired.