Connemara Smokehouse and Visitor Centre. Ballyconneely
Right on the water’s edge at Bunowen Pier, in the heart of Connemara and between Roundstone and Clifden, you will find the Connemara Smokehouse. Enjoying stunning views of the Twelve Bens mountain range and the castle of Connaught’s historic Pirate Queen, Grainne Mhoal, it is the longest established smokehouse in the area and one of the few remaining specialising in wild smoked salmon.
Wild salmon is caught locally; organic comes from Clare Island, off the west coast of Mayo. They also specialise in Irish smoked tuna and gravadlax. The first step in the smoking process is the filleting. The bones are removed and the fish is washed to remove any loose bones. Refrigerated for an hour or so to allow the water to drain off, it’s then ready for salting and smoking. Beech is used for the smoking process and the smoke is fanned through the kiln for about 8-10 hours. The length of the smoking process depends on various factors, including the weather
Products include roast smoked salmon when the fish is slowly smoked using a hot fire to give a cooked salmon texture; honey roast smoked salmon where the salmon is marinated in honey before smoking; gravadlax, salmon that’s marinated with sugar, salt, dill and Irish whiskey. Wild tuna is caught by the line-fishing method and is lightly cured and smoked or marinated in honey.
Connemara Equestrian Escapes regularly includes a tour of the Smokehouse in your itinerary. You can watch all the processes of filleting, from start to the finished product, and, of course, enjoy a sample.