There is something so satisfying about making your own gravlax. It’s easy, but looks like you sweated over it. I added fresh beets to the curing mixture to give even more dazzle!
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup sea salt
- 1 tablespoon cracked black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon dill seeds
- 1 teaspoon juniper berries, crushed
- 2 bay leaves, crushed
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 pound raw beets, grated or pureed
- 1 bunch dill, chopped
- 2 tablespoons gin
- 2-3 pounds salmon filet, 1 large side
- In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, sea salt, cracked black peppercorns, dill seeds, juniper berries, bay leaves, and lemon zest.
- In another bowl combine the dill and the beets.
- Line a glass baking dish or plastic container with plastic wrap so it hangs over the sides.
- Carefully remove any bones from salmon fillet with a tweezer. Cut in the fillet in half widthwise. Place the smaller piece of salmon on a plate, skin side down. Place the larger piece of the salmon in the container, skin side down. Brush both pieces of salmon with the gin. Cover the salmon in the container with half of the sugar mixture. Then all the beet, dill mixture followed by the remaining sugar mixture and the salmon, flesh side down. Wrap the salmon tightly with plastic wrap and again with more plastic wrap, so it’s totally sealed.
- If you’re brave and your house is cool-ish (under 60 degrees) leave the salmon sitting out for six hours so the sugar and salt can melt. If you’re not brave, put the salmon in the refrigerator covered with a cutting board and some weights (cans or a clean plastic wrapped brick, etc,). Turn the salmon over every 12 hours for two days. If you like it drier and saltier you can leave it for another day. If you like it less cured you can take it out after 24 hours. I left it for three days.
- When it’s finished curing, remove and discard everything, but the fish. Wipe the fish dry with paper towels. Slice very thinly with a sharp knife.
- Serve as is with some lemon slices or with a sauce.
Yield: One side of gravlax to feed 6 guests for a plated appetizer or 10 -12 people for hors d'oeuvres with blini or bread.
The total time does not include the curing time. I served it with buckwheat blinis, a horseradish crème fraiche, capers and onions.