How to make our delicious beetroot gravadlax

Beetroot gravadlax, dill creme fraiche, caperberries (serves four)

Salmon slice.png

You’ll need to plan-ahead several days to make the gravadlax but it is worth it for a rich, buttery and deeply flavoured treat. The quantities listed will leave quite a bit of gravadlax left over but you get a better result curing a bigger bit of fish. The remaining gravadlax is delicious with brown bread and butter or with scrambled eggs and toast as a weekend breakfast.

Ask your fishmonger to give you a piece of salmon from the head end rather than the tail, cutting from a large fish to ensure you have a nice thick even fillet. Make sure that you peel the beetroot for the cure thoroughly, as geosmin (the compound that gives beetroot its earthy flavour) is concentrated near the skin and this can overpower the salmon making it taste muddy.

Ingredients

600g thick Salmon fillet, skin on, in 1 piece

For the Salmon cure:
250g course sea salt
250g granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
250g of peeled and finely diced beetroot

For the salmon topping:
1 bunch dill, finely chopped
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated

For the dill crème fraiche:
200g full fat crème fraiche
1 bunch dill, finely chopped

To garnish:
12 caperberries
A few sprigs of dill
A few grinds of the black pepper mill
4 lemon wedges

To make the cure, blitz all the ingredients in a food processor scraping down the sides of the bowl. You should have a course paste. Lay out a double thickness of strong, good quality cling film and smooth half of the paste over it in the rough shape of your salmon fillet. Lay the salmon fillet on top, skin side down, and carefully spoon the remainder of the cure over. Parcel up the cling film and place in a Tupperware box in the fridge for 36 hours.

Salmon whole.png

After 36 hours unwrap the cling film, take out the salmon and place on a board and empty the cure into the Tupperware, it should be more liquid, due to moisture coming out of the salmon. Place the salmon back into the cure, skin side up, submerging the cut side in the cure. Leave for another 12 hours.

Wash of the salmon in running water until it is fully clean of cure, the outside should be bright pink. Lay out another double thickness of strong, good quality cling film. Blot the salmon dry with kitchen paper and place on the cling film. Top with an even covering of chopped dill and lemon zest and parcel up and return to a clean Tupperware. At this point the salmon should mature for at least 2 days and can be kept for 2 weeks if wrapped well and kept in the fridge.

To make the dill crème fraiche, mix the chopped dill into the full fat crème fraiche. To serve, slice the finished salmon gravadlax with a very sharp knife as thinly as possible. Allow at least 5 slices per person.  Divide the slices between four serving plates, grind on the pepper and top with a spoon of the dill crème fraiche. Garnish each plate with lemon wedges, caperberries and dill.