As it is a bit of a tradition in our home to have smoked Salmon with scrabbled eggs for Christmas morning breakfast, I have often seen and sampled this cold cured Scandinavian Salmon called Gravlax . For this Christmas, as planned, I have made my own. The process has surprised me, it is not difficult at all to make, just a little space required in the fridge and remembering to turn it every 12 hours.
the word Gravlax: Grav means to trench and lax means Salmon. Although this was the practice to cure the fish by digging up a trench, adding curing ingredients on the fish and placing the fish in the trench for the curing process to occur.
I found it is so much cheaper to buy fresh fish from your local fishmonger than it is a supermarket. I spoke to mine a week prior to buying this piece of fish, I wanted the freshest of fish and picked mine up on one of his twice weekly visits to Billingsgate Market .
Whizzing up the ingredients of Sea salt, Sugar, Juniper berries, Black Peppercorns Lemon and Lime zest, Dill and a couple of tablespoons of Gin, spreading on the flesh sides only, sandwiching up.
I wrapped it a good few times in Kitchen Film and placed it in a tray, with another tray on top, with weight added on top (I placed a heavy cast iron skillet). This helps keep the fish in contact with the curing ingredients at all times.
The amount of time for curing is taste depended, 48 hours will have cured the fish, turning it every 12 hours. Leaving it longer (4 days) as I have done, gives it a saltier, much richer taste.
Carefully remove the fish out of the Kitchen film, discarding the kitchen film and any water that has oozed out into the tray. Gently wash out a little and set aside to drain. Lay the fillets out on kitchen towel, which will help soak away any of the residue water.Cut slices at a 45˙ angle and drizzle a little Mustard and Dill Sauce to enhance the flavours even further. I am definitely making this in the summer, perfect accompaniment to a cold potato salad.
Enjoy and Happy Holidays x
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Gin and Juniper Gravlax
With Juniper and Dill as a back note, a great alternative to smoked Salmon.
- 1kg Fillet of Salmon
- 100g Sea Salt
- 80g Light Brown Sugar
- 1tsp Juniper Berries
- 1tsp Whole Black Peppercorns
- 20g of Dill leaves
- zest of Lemon and Lime
- 2tbsp Gin
- With Kitchen Paper towel pat dry the fish.
- Add into a little food processor all the curing ingredients except Gin, Whizz and empty into a bowl.
- Pour Gin into the Salt mixture and mix well.
- Cover flesh sides with mixture, placing second piece flesh side over the first.
- Wrap well with Kitchen film and place in deep tray with weight. Turn every 12 hours.
- When ready, gently wash and pat dry the cured fish, and slice at a 45˙ angle
- Serve with a Dill and Mustard Sauce and wedges of lemon.