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Cedar Plank Salmon with Syrah Butter

Cedar Plank Salmon with Syrah Butter
Recipe Date:
July 16, 2014
Serving Size:
Active Time:
Imperial (US)


1 cup Montemaggiore Syrah
⅓ cup finely chopped shallots (3 to 4)
½ cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 Turkish or ½ California bay leaf
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh orange zest
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 (1 inch thick) salmon steaks with skin (each about ½ lb) or a single 2 lb steak
2 tablespoons olive oil


  • Soak cedar grilling plank in water to cover 2 hours, keeping it immersed.
  • Combine wine, shallots, juice, vinegar, tomato paste, and bay leaf in a 1- to 2-quart heavy saucepan and boil over moderately high heat until mixture is thick and jamlike and reduced to about 1/3 cup, about 20 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Transfer mixture to a small bowl set in a bowl of ice and cold water and stir until cold to the touch, about 5 minutes. Remove from ice water and stir in zest, butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper with a rubber spatula until incorporated.
  • Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal or gas. Pat fish dry and sprinkle with remaining ¾ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Put salmon on plank, skin side down (if salmon is too wide for plank, fold in thinner side to fit). Grill, covered with lid, until salmon is just cooked through and edges are browned, 13 to 15 minutes. Let salmon stand on plank 5 minutes before serving.
  • Top each steak with 1 to 2 tablespoons syrah butter. Note that leftover syrah butter can be chilled and covered up to 3 days, or frozen up to 2 weeks.

Wine Pairing: Syrah and Syrafina.  The smokey flavor imparted by the cedar plank and the grilling matches that of a syrah-based wine.  The "butter" can also be made with any red wine, thus will naturally pair with it.

​Adapted from