A Food & Travel Blog

Local Producers – Harris Smokehouse

11/08/2010 | By

The small town of Hahndorf, in the Adelaide Hills, is a popular tourist destination which celebrates it’s rich German heritage – but it isn’t all kransky and lederhosen up there and I believe that our local producers deserve plenty of recognition!

Next time you are wandering down the main drag of Hahndorf, make sure that you pop into the Harris Smokehouse and try out yet another wonderful, locally produced gastronomical delight – and one with four generations of family history behind it!  The Pinney/Harris family have been smoking fish for over 50 years with the original smokehouse set up in Suffolk, England.  One branch of the family still runs the business back in the UK but, in 1990, Richard and Valerie Harris moved their young  family here to Adelaide.   Salmon farming was just starting up here in Australia and there was no local artisan product, so they turned to what they knew best and began smoking fish in a small business in Mt. Barker, which they christened “Springs Smoked Seafood”, beginning another chapter of the family story.

Richard and Valerie’s son, Adam, is the proud proprietor of the Harris Smokehouse and it is plain to see that his young man has inherited every fishy gene in his family.  He studied aquaculture at school and  further fed his interest by keeping tropical fish tanks at home.  When he left school Adam began his career on the now much extended factory floor where he embraced and learnt his trade from the ground up, occasionally making himself unpopular with the older members of staff as he sought to improve production.  When “Springs” was eventually sold, Adam once again went back to basics, and took some time out to learn as much as he could about barramundi farming at the only year-round barramundi hatchery in Australia – which to my surprise is right here in Adelaide at West Beach!

In 2009, at 24 years of age and armed with passion, knowledge, family support and the slicer that his parents brought to Australia when they immigrated, Adam opened up his own business and began producing a range of  high quality, hand-made seafood products.  Employing locals, some from the old “Springs” days, and using local products wherever possible Adam prides himself on using a balance of ethics, productivity and profit to build his  business and create his delicious range.  For cold-smoking, Adam first salts his salmon fillets to make sure that there will be no mushiness in the end product, then uses the smoke of oak wood to produce the delicate and distinct flavour that I love so much.  The hot-smoked salmon is just to-die-for and is made by brining the fish, cold smoking it first, then cooking it in the hot smoker  – it can be served hot or cold.

Salted salmon fillets

Adam and his father, Richard, have moved on much further than just smoked salmon, though!  No longer limited by the Kosher restraint from the Springs days, there is not much that escapes the smoker as these two put their heads together to come up with a stream of new and innovative products.  Harris currently boasts a range of almost 30 different seafood lines, including smoked prawns, sardines, oysters, mussels and kingfish from South Australia and eels from Victoria.  There is also a growing range of  oven-ready meals available in the freezers, including fish pies and our dinner – salmon fillets with currants and ginger, wrapped  in puff  pastry – with more ideas in the pipeline!


The store in Hahndorf houses a very large smoke-house and the main preparation and packaging area is visible, behind glass, from the shop floor.   Currently, Adam and his staff are only working one shift per day, but the size of the premises means that production can be increased without moving to new premises.  Just as well, really, as local chefs are discovering this quality Adelaide Hills product and there is an interstate market for Harris seafood products rapidly developing!

There are plenty of recipe ideas available on the website – www.harrissmokehouse.com.au – but here is one to get you started!


1 pkt Harris Smokehouse Rainbow Trout
400 gms small potatoes
A few sprigs of dill, chopped
A handful of continental flat parsley, roughly chopped
2 spring onions, chopped
Good quality mayonnaise

Roughly chop unpeeled potatoes into even sized pieces and cook in boiling, salted water until cooked.
Drain and set aside in a large bowl.
Flake the trout and add to the potatoes with the dill, parsley and spring onions.
Add a few good dollops of mayonnaise and mix carefully, then season with black pepper.

This can be served warm or cold and any other smoked fish could be used. Try mixing in a little chilli or wasabi to the mayo for an extra kick.


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  1. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

    Amanda, great post, thank you! How fabulous to read about a family business that takes such genuine care and interest in their produce. The fish pie looks amazing. I’ve never tried making fish pie – must give it a go one of these days!

  2. Anna Johnston

    What a great read Amanda. Thanks! I too love the Fish Pie, have to say I’ve never seen one that looks like this before & my little chef brain is working overtime wondering what it tastes like, what’s in it, wonder if they’ve done something really different….., 🙂 I’m off to their website now to see if they’ve left any clues.
    I do like the smoked rainbow trout potato salad, think that’s a keeper as well.
    Cheers Anna

  3. admin

    Thanks folks.
    The photo of our dinner is, in fact, a salmon fillet, covered with chopped ginger and currants and then wrapped in pastry – not the fish pie!
    I suspect the idea of using currants and ginger is based on a very well known dish from an English chef called George Perry-Smith, who cooked in the 1960’s.
    They go surprisingly well with the fish – worth a try!

  4. Sarah @ For the Love of Food

    Amanda thanks for this post – I didn’t realise Harris was in Hahndorf. I’ll definitely be picking up some product next time we go up. It’s been interesting and heartening to see the changing landscape of the main drag in Hahndorf over the last few years with the emergence of artisan producer outlets and quality cafes.

  5. Doc-G

    Great post Amanda. Always been a fan of Richard Harris and went to some good presentations by him when he was at Springs. Also been a fan of the new company. I purchase it from Foodland North Adelaide.

  6. admin

    Thanks for mentioning where you buy it George – I should have noted that it is available in various independent supermarkets around town.
    If you don’t see it in your local Foodland, IGA or Drake’s – ask for them to stock it!

  7. Kate

    Even I as a non fish person would be tempted by that great looking dinner. When I lived in Aberdeen, Scotland I used to see Arbroath Smokies on lots of menus. I was never tempted to try one, nor the Black Pudding that often came on the same breakfast plate !!

  8. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    Oh doh, I was just thinking that I wanted to order the fish shaped fish pie until I read your comment!

  9. tasteofbeirut

    Great post; so interesting to see what folks in places so far from us are doing with such passion and dedication; this salmon dish sounds to die for!

  10. margie

    i have been making this for my father and now he manages it very well on his own i add asparagus when in season and also either use wasabi mayonaise for a kick or the good old green goddess salad

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