I have an awful habit of purchasing without a plan. That said, when I bought this side of salmon from the fishmonger because it looked so lovely, it worked to my advantage as I had to think on my feet for what to do with it. I had already made dinner plans out and certainly wasn't having enough people round to cook for. So, with my boyfriend and his mate throwing a BBQ on the weekend for about 30 people I decided to cure it so it would keep.
It's a bloody messy job and you're best off doing it with gloves on. There's a reason my photos look so staged, and jumpy because I had to keep washing my hands!
So for a side of salmon -
- Put it skin side down in a tray (that will fit in your fridge) and pack sea salt all over the flesh. Pack it down quite firmly making sure it covers the whole side.
- Sprinkle Demerera sugar over the salt and push this down too.
- Sprinkle freshly grated horseradish over the sugar (you could also use grated from a jar as long as it isn't a 'sauce')
- Peel and grate 2 large raw beetroot on a cheese grater and carefully pack on top.
- Now, using vodka or gin, drizzle over the beetroot.
- Lastly chop fresh dill and zest a lemon or two over the salmon.
- Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate with a baking tray on the top and a few heavy cans to weight it.
- Leave for 2 days before holding the salmon up, draining it and scraping off the dressings. Pat the salmon clean with kitchen paper and lay down on a board to cut the skin off. Make sure you have a long, thin and very sharp knife for this.
- Slice the salmon up and layer on a plate. You can leave this covered in your fridge for up to two weeks but we ate ours straight away. I toasted rye bread, topped with sour cream mixed with grainy mustard, lemon zest & dill. Layer the salmon on top and squeeze lemon juice and grind fresh pepper on the top. It was delicious.
Two days later...