A Life in Smoke & Salt

The Red Herring Smokehouse is a street food venture based out of Hackney, London. We develop new street food ideas using smoking and curing techniques. You can try our stuff weekly at Brockley Market and every Monday at Eat.St KX



Email peter@theredherringsmokehouse.com or call +44(0)75067 85569 for more information

OUR FRIENDS: Brockley Market | eat.st

Recent Tweets @redherringsmoke

Our new home for the summer, watch this space….



I became addicted to Croquetas after spending a summer in Andalucia a few years back.  Of course in Spain it’s all about the Jamon but we’re really happy with the results we’ve been getting from smoked ham hocks.  The hocks are simmered for four hours then pulled.  The resulting smoky stock is added, along with flour and milk, to leeks poached in extra virgin olive oil and butter to make a thick bechamel that forms the basis for the croquetas.  

For the smoked chicken variety we smoke roast whole, free range birds over oak then use the pulled meat and a smoky stock made from the carcass to flavour the croquetas.

You can try them, fried to order, at Brockley Market for the next couple of weeks but get down early they’ve been selling out fast!

According to the style barometer in this week’s Sunday Times - BLT’s are going down!  ”It’s all about the BELT - with the addition of a runny fried egg.  Why did nobody think if this before?”


Well we did and its called the Whole Hog.

©Toby Allen Photography

The Whole Hog was developed for Secret Garden Party 2011 and based on a sandwich I saw in the film Spanglish, with Adam Sandler. The film itself is instantly forgettable but what stuck in mind was the sandwich Adam Sandler’s character makes as a late night snack.  A bit of resarch found that the Sandwich was actually the creation of Thomas Keller http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXAJAyLdUXU, who worked with the film’s director to develop the kind of over the top salty creation a chef might make at home.  

We substituted in some of our applewood smoked keen’s cheddar in place of the swiss cheese in the original and smoked back bacon in place of the streaky and The Whole Hog was born.  It went down a storm at SGP and you can check one out for yourself every saturday at Brockley Market.

By the way we still love BLT’s as well, and classic bacon sarnies - with real butter and homemade brown sauce.



©Toby Allen Photography

So we started experimenting with smoking duck legs back in the autumn.  The first bit of produce I ever sold was a hot-smoked duck breast and we’ve been supplying them to a our local deli ever since.  I always disliked the idea of buying the the breasts on their own, felt like a bit of waste (although I’m sure the legs always found a happy home).  We were selling 15-20 breasts a week, so what to do with all these duck legs? Well to me there’s only way to cook legs – confit.  So I had an idea, a quick google yielded little support for my theory but I reckoned that since a good confit requires a cure anyway why not sneak in a cheeky cold smoke for a few hours before it meets the fat.  It worked and soon our smoked duck confit sandwich made its debut at Brockley Market.


©Toby Allen Photography

As much as I love sandwiches, the bitterly cold weather of the new year required a more robust outlet for our smoked duck confit.  Cassoulet seemed the obvious choice, given our access to lots of lovely smoked bacon.

With my two main ingredients and a recipe sorted that just left the important matter of sausages and beans.  I settled on a delicious Toulouse sausage from The Ginger Pig, and dried haricot beans.

Our Cassoulet, with smoked confit garlic toasts, can be found at Brockley market for four weeks only from 4th-25th Feb 2012.


Welcome to the first post in our brand new blog.  The Red Herring Smokehouse is a street food venture based out of Hackney, London.  Just over a year ago, with a sketch of a homemade smoker on the back of a beer mat, a love of food, and bundles of naive curiosity, we set about building a cold smoker and experimenting.

Smoking lemons in our first homemade smoker


Since then we’ve been selling our smoked produce to equally curious and food loving types.  Our highlights of the year included: sourcing wild sea trout from coracle fishermen in Wales; curing and smoking 150kg of Gloucester Old Spot Bacon which went down a treat at The Secret Garden Party; and being involved in Brockley Market. We won’t mention the low points save to say that many of them involved struggling with a blowtorch and damp wood chips, in the dark, getting very wet, in the middle of the night…             

We love smoked salmon, duck breasts and cheeses, but this year is about innovating. We want to push the boundaries of traditional smoked foods, using what we’ve learned about curing and smoking to develop exciting new street food ideas. We’ve only got three main rules: to use the best local ingredients we can find; make it affordable; & it must taste great.

So that’s what this blog is going to be all about.  We’ll be developing new street food using smoking and curing techniques throughout the year and posting pics, thoughts, successes and failures.  You can try our stuff every Saturday at Brockley Market and various other street food markets in London and at festivals this summer so follow us on twitter to keep up to date.

Our first proper post, on the subject of Cassoulet, will follow in few days…