Beetroot Cured Gravalax

This stunning dish was served as the starter of the most recent supper club, which was based on methods of preserving. Curing fish isn't something a lot of people would consider doing at home -time and space being contributory factors. After all you should probably go for a side of salmon if you're going to bother and it's not a dish you're going to tuck into that very evening but rather enjoy a few days later. However, I urge you to give this one a go -not only does it taste great, it is a feast for the eyes too. This recipe comes from Diane Henry's 'Salt Sugar Smoke' a beautiful, insightful addition to the anyone's cookbook shelf. Gravalax is Scandinavian in it's origins and it was a method of preserving first used by fishermen way back in the day, the salmon would be buried in sand and allowed it to ferment. The name comes from the Scandinavian words 'grav' meaning grave and 'lax' meaning salmon - literally then translating as 'salmon grave' ...sounds delightful eh?!

What you need;                - for 14 people
  • 1.2kg tail end piece of salmon -gutted & deboned with skin intact either cut in half or a large side of salmon
  • 6 tbsp of vodka
  • 125g granulated sugar
  • 100g sea salt flakes
  • 2tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • large bunch of dill roughly chopped
  • 400g raw beetroot grated

What you need to do;
  • Make sure your salmon is free of bones -use tweezers to remove any
  • Get a large dish that will hold your salmon and place a double layer of foil down
  • Put your piece of salmon in skin side down rub the vodka into it
  • Mix the sugar, salt, dill and pepper together and spread over the salmon

  • If you have two pieces divide the mixture in half and follow the above steps placing the second piece skin side up
  • Pull the foil up over the fish and place something weighty on top
Thank God I had this lying around!

  • Refrigerate and leave for at least two days -will keep for a week
  • Pour off the liquid that will appear in the dish 
  • Scrape off the cure and slice thinly as needed
  • At the supper club I served it with leaves and fresh horseradish sauce went down a treat.I  also had lunch out of the last few slices which I put onto toasted sourdough with a good  unhealthy slathering of garlic aioli!

Bears Like Salmon