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This beetroot & gin cured salmon went down an absolute treat in AnotherFoodBloggers house. It takes a little to cure but surprisingly simple to make. I would thoroughly recommend anyone who likes cured fish or fish in general to give it a go. The colours alone will impress all your dinner guests!
Cured Salmon Inspiration
Growing up my Dad and I used to a good bit of fly fishing for Salmon. Dad still does but not me so much. I guess it’s quite hard when you live the other side of the world!!
Whenever I was fortunate enough to catch a salmon I would always get it smoked. The place we went offered this service and I loved it. The only down side was I had to wait until we went fishing again to collect it. Boy though was it good. Some Irish soda bread, lemon and either some delish Irish butter or ricotta cheese and I was in heaven. I always thought to myself how I’d love to smoke/cure it myself. Now that I have grown up (supposedly) and am hugely into cooking and experimenting I decided to get it done. Especially seeing as I ain’t fishing with Dad anymore and can’t get my own fish. I thought this would be the next best thing.
At first the task ahead seemed a little daunting but after a little research and common sense it actually is SUPER simple. I used gin to rub the salmon in and then started to think about the botanicals you find in gin. Things like – citrus, cucumber, juniper. From there I thought about things that marry well with these flavours and what would add a beautiful colour to the salmon too. BEETROOT – if you haven’t used beetroot before in the kitchen then you are in for a shock. Wear gloves or else you will be scrubbing for days AND don’t get any on your clothes either! Moving along, I grated the veg, pounded the spices and mixed it all together to cover the salmon. The rest is in the recipe below so I won’t bore you with writing it out twice!
What to serve with my cured salmon?
When eating smoked salmon you always want something that will compliment the flavours and not over power it. Horseradish is PERFECT. What? Isn’t horseradish strong flavoured? It sure is. So in this case I mixed a small amount of horseradish with ricotta cheese to soften it out. Just the right amount of punch without overpowering the salmon. Topped the ricotta with a little lemono zest and we are sorted! For those of you who read my blog you will know I love pickled food so keeping with the cucumber theme and wanting to add some acid I did a quick pickle on some cucs. Read the recipe HERE. Grilled bread is a MUST. Simple and adds the texture you need. Not to mention you can either make these up as bites or serve it family style for your guests to help themselves to the cured salmon.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my cured salmon as much as I did making (and eating it). At first it certainly seems quite a daunting challenge but it’s honestly very simple.
Happy Cooking and Happy Eating Friends!
- 1 side salmon skin off, pin boned (approx 1.2kg)
- 3 large beetroots washed & grated
- 80 ml gin i used bombay sapphaire
- 1 cucumber grated
- 1 handful dill roughly chopped
- 1 orange zested & juiced
- 110g soft brown sugar
- 110g sea salt flakes
- 1 tsp juniper berries crushed
- 1 tsp coriander seeds crushed
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
- Crush the juniper, fennel & black pepper together using either a pestle & mortar or spice blender.
- Mix all the ingredients together (except salmon) and combine well with your hands - USE A GLOVE
- Layer (minimum) 4 sheets of cling film on a flat surface and place 1/2 the beetroot mix onto it. Place salmon on top of beetroot mix and place other half of mix on salmon so that it is completely covered. Wrap with cling film and place on a baking tray
- Place in the fridge - bottom shelf is best in case there is any spillage! And place another baking tray on top and weigh it down. I used a couple blocks of butter that were in the fridge. Cans will work well too!
- After 24 hours flip the salmon over and weigh it down again. CAREFUL OF THE BEETROOT and your hands!
- After 48 hours your salmon is cured and ready to be eaten - well almost!
- Discard the beetroot mixture and was salmon under cold running water.
- box grater
- large mixing bowl
- pestle & mortar or spice blender
- latex gloves
- cling film
- baking tray x 2
- chopping board
- sharp knife
- use gloves! I can't say it enough times. I love beetroot but boy does it stain
- ask your fishmonger to remove the skin and pin bone your salmon for you
- salmon will keep for up to 1 week tightly wrapped and in the fridge
- it is suitable for freezing but make sure you cut it into portions before freezing