Thursday, December 10, 2015

This week's recipe: Beetroot cured Salmon Gravadlax

is something Lynne made for John's birthday and would be a great starter for Christmas or New Year celebrations. Gravadlax is not difficult to make and you don’t need a huge quantity of salmon. We did two large 200 x 140 cm salmon fillets, but one fillet would be plenty for about 8 to 10 people. If you use two, put them face to face, covered in the cure and compress together. The key to gravadlax is to decide whether you like a salty or a slightly sweeter cure. This year Lynne altered the proportions of salt and sugar and we loved it. She also used grated fresh beetroot, which gives the salmon a wonderful ruby-like colour but doesn't affect the taste very much. It was incredibly popular. You need to start making this about three days before you want to serve it.
1 oblong fillet of fresh salmon, skin on, about 800g - 2 T rough salt - 3 T pale brown sugar - 1 fresh beetroot, peeled (approx 200g) - 3 juniper berries - 2 T finely chopped fresh dill - 1/2 t ground allspice - a good grinding of black pepper - 50ml Aquavit/dry gin/vodka
Pin bone the salmon, place it on a large piece of cling film (enough to completely wrap it later) and put into a deep oblong (non metallic) container like an ice cream box or Tupperware. Put all the other ingredients into your liquidiser and blitz till you have a nice, slightly rough red paste. (You might want to use gloves for the next bit!) Cover both surfaces of the entire salmon with this and then wrap it up. Put some heavy weights on top of it and put in the fridge. You will need to turn this one every 12 hours for about 2 to 3 days. Lots of liquid will come out; you can pour it off. Just before you want to serve it, remove from the fridge and brush off all the rub. This will leave you with a glowing piece of salmon gravadlax which you can thinly slice off the skin (using a very sharp knife), sprinkle on a little freshly chopped dill and accompany with some creamed horseradish sauce. Left overs - if there are any - will keep for a couple of days in the fridge.

Lynne found a great solution for the weights by wrapping two concrete garden path pavers in clingfilm. They will be used again!
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2015
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