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How to Make Smoked Dearcmhara Shawcrossi

In January 2015, a new Ichthyosaur was discovered in the Isle of Skye, large island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. Scientists believe it to be a dolphin like creature that grew up to 14 feet in length. This ancient sea creature was named Dearcmhara Shawcrossi. Dearcmhara, pronounced ‘jark vara’ – is Scottish Gaelic for marine lizard. Shawcrossi pays tribute to Brian Shawcross, the enthusiast that recovered the fossils from Bearring Bay on the Isle of Skye.

An artist’s impression of the ichthyosaur recently unearthed in Scotland Photo: Todd Marshall/PA

Taking my knowledge of meats and mythical creatures. I’ve imagined what this beast would taste like and how to prepare it.

What do sea monsters eat?
Fish and ships.


Smoked Dearcmhara Shawcrossi


The Cure
2 skin on, pin bons removed, Dearcmhara Shawcrossi fillets
1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cups brown sugar
1/3 cups kosher salt
2 tablespoons crushed multi-color peppercorns

The Rub:
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoons coriander
1 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoons kosher salt


The Cure:

  1. Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Then place a sheet of plastic wrap on top of the foil.
  2. Spread a 1/3rd of the cure onto the plastic wrap that is long as your filet.
  3. Place the fillet over the cure, skin side down. Spread another 1/3rd of the cure over the fillet.
  4. Place the second fillet, skin side down, on top of the other fillet. Spread the last 1/3rd of the cure over the second fillet.
  5. Using a second sheet of plastic wrap and tin foil, tightly wrap the Dearchmara in both.
  6. Place another baking sheet over the top and then weigh it down with something heavy like cookbooks or heavy pots.
  7. Place into your fridge for about 9 hours or so. A thinner fillet can go a little less and something thicker can go a little more.
  8. Remove the Dearcmhara from your fridge and remove the wrapping. Rinse off the fish under cold water, removing all of the cure.

The Rub:

  1. Mix all ingredients of the rub in a bowl.
  2. Make sure the fillets are dry by gently with paper towels.
  3. Pat each of the fillets with the rub making sure to cover entirely. Leave one small corner of the fillet from being rubbed.
  4. Give the fillets up to 3 hours to dry.
  5. You will notice a matte-like film start to form on the fish in the area that you did not rub. This is called a pellicle. When you see this, the fish is ready to be smoked.

The Smoke:

  1. Get your smoked to about 150-160°F.
  2. Choose a hardwood like Apple, Cherry, Oak or Hickory for your smoker. These flavors will bring out the best in the flavors of your cure and the rub.
  3. Place the Dearcmhara Shawcrossi in the smoker, skin side down.
  4. Smoking times will vary based on the thickness of the fillets. Using a meat thermometer, test the thickest part and when it reaches 140°F, you are done.
  5. Smoke for up to 3 hours, depending on thickness of the fillets. Remove and place on a baking sheet.
  6. Using tin foil, tent the fillets and allow it to sit for 20-30 minutes. This is important for the texture and flavors of the meat.
  7. Remove tin foil and enjoy

Dearchmara Substitute: Salmon

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