Makes – 750g (1lb 10oz) gravlax
- 750g (1lb 10oz) side of salmon, skinned and deboned
For the cure
- 75ml (2½fl oz) whisky
- 4 tbsp salt
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- zest and juice of 1 orange
- 2 tbsp chopped dill
- 1 tbsp crushed black peppercorns
- 1 tbsp crushed coriander seeds
- 1 beetroot, peeled and grated
- large frying pan or cast-iron skillet
- small saucepan or butterpan
- 750ml (1¼-pint) glass jar, sterilized
- To make the cure, mix the whisky, salt, sugar, orange zest and juice, dill, and spices in a bowl, then combine with the grated beetroot.
- Place the side of salmon in a large non-reactive container and rub the cure into the fish thoroughly on all sides (fig. a).
- Apply some pressure on top of the fish to speed up the curing process. I have made a lid that fits inside my curing dish (fig. b), then I simply add tins from the larder on top to weigh it down. Alternatively, wrap the salmon tightly in baking parchment and press between 2 plates with weights on top (again, evenly spaced tins from the larder are ideal). Leave to cure in the fridge, at below 5°C (41°F), for 36 hours. Check on it occasionally and pour offany liquid brine as it drains from the fish.
- Scrape off the cure and rinse the salmon under cold running water. Gently pat dry with kitchen paper.
- Slice the side of salmon thinly on an angle and serve. Store in the fridge for 1 week.
- Reduce the curing time by 12 hours if you want a softer texture.
- Always use sashimi-grade fish or, to be super safe, freeze the fish for 24 hours before starting the curing process, to kill off any parasites.
- Once the fish is cured and patted dry, try adding a crust of red chilli flakes, chopped dill, crushed black pepper, and coriander for a warming play on fish pastrami.
Recipes extracted from The Artisan Kitchen by James Strawbridge, Published by DK Books, RRP $49.99 AUD/ $55 NZD