Beetroot and gin cured salmon has a sweet, salty flavour with a vibrant colour. It makes a really lovely dinner party or Christmas lunch starter.
- 500-600g piece of salmon fillet, skin on
- 2tbsp juniper berries
- ½ tsp black peppercorns
- 2tbsp sea salt
- 2tbsp sugar
- 5tbsp gin
- 150g raw beetroot, peeled and grated (wear rubber gloves!)
- 3tbsp grated horseradish
- For The Pickled Cucumber:
- 75g caster sugar
- 1½ tsp sea salt
- 175ml white wine vinegar
- 10 peppercorns
- Rind of ½ lemon
- 1 cucumber, peeled, deseeded and sliced
- Remove any pin bones from the salmon with tweezers. Line a baking sheet with clingfilm and place the fish on it, skin side down.
- Crush the juniper and peppercorns in a pestle and mortar. Mix together these spices with the remaining ingredients. Spread the mixture over the salmon and press down. Wrap clingfilm around and over the top of the salmon a few times. Place another baking sheet on top and weigh it down with jars or cans. Leave in the fridge for at least 36 hours and preferably 3 days.
- Unwrap the fish and scrape off the marinade. The salmon will freeze very well at this point. It will keep for 5 days in the fridge.
- For the pickled cucumber, dissolve the sugar and salt over a gentle heat then add the white wine vinegar, peppercorns and lemon rind. Set aside to cool, then pour over the cucumber, cover and put in the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight.
For different flavours, mix together the following ingredients and press into the salmon then wrap and proceed as above.
For bourbon and black pepper salmon:
2tbsp black peppercorns
2tbsp sea salt
5tbsp bourbon or whisky
5tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
For sake and sesame salmon:
2tbsp coriander seeds
2tbsp sea salt
2tbsp wasabi paste
5tbsp toasted sesame seeds
Top Tip for making Beetroot and Gin Cured Salmon: To slice the salmon, you’ll need either a proper smoked salmon knife (worth the investment if you make this a few times a year) or a fish-filleting knife, which has a flexible blade. Make sure the knife is really sharp and cut the salmon into thin slices. Serve the salmon with spelt soda bread, cucumber and crème fraîche if you like.