November 25, 2014 by Smock Alley
1 salmon fillet- 1 kg
3 tablespoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
1 bag chopped dill
1 generous ‘home’ measure of gin
A delicious and elegant dish, perfect for a party or as a gift. The idea of curing fish might seem like a bit of a palaver but it’s a wonderfully simple way to serve salmon. While this cure is originated from Scandinavia, essentially a gravlax or buried salmon, curing fish is an old Irish method, albeit usually in the smoking method. This method makes it much more achievable to produce a high quality homemade cure with a minimal outlay in terms of equipment.
Combine all the ingredients except the salmon in a bowl and mix well. Place salmon skin side down in a large tray, spread the mixture all over the flesh and ensure it is covered completely.
Flip the salmon so the skin side is up, cover the salmon with clingfilm, and then place some weights on it. We use large cans. Clingfilm again this time wrapping the entire tray and ensuring it is completely wrapped and airtight. Pop in the fridge for 3 days.
The idea is that the sugar and salt draw out the moisture from the fish while getting lightly flavoured by the dill, gin and mustard. Pressing down with the weights ensure that pressure is exerted to encourage the moisture to leave the fish.
A lot of water will come out of the salmon, hence the cure has worked! Scrap off the salt/sugar/mustard mixture and thinly slice the salmon making sure not to have any skin on your slices. The salmon will keep for up to a week or 10 days after the initial cure, once covered in clingfilm and refrigerated.
Serve with a dill and honey mustard dressing for the Scandinavian vibe or crème fraiche and horseradish mixed with some lemon for a more Gallic flare, or some Trout Caviar, chives and sour cream on blinis or brown bread. De-lish!