Gravadlax ‘Gravad lax’ is Swedish for ‘buried fish’, which harks back to the time when fishermen would save part of their catch by burying it in the beach. Presumably the salt in the sand had a preservative effect and a degree of fermentation held off decomposition for a while. Today, things are a little better organized. Nobody’s suggesting you should bury your salmon in the garden, but you can entomb it in a salty rub, some clingfilm and a fridge for a couple of days and produce something magical. I’ve no idea what the Swedish for ‘sublime’ is, but it’s le mot juste for this stuff. Because the cure imparts a good flavour and changes the texture, this is a great use for the farmed salmon which might not ordinarily stand your scrutiny. Get your fishmonger to cut two matching fillet pieces, one from either side of the same fish. It’s better if they can be cut square, for reasons of neatness and economy. In order to kill any parasites present in the fish, freeze it for 24 hours and then defrost in the fridge. Grind together 150g of sea salt, 150g of caster sugar, 30g of coriander seed and 50g of black peppercorns in a pestle and mortar and lay the two salmon fillets skin side down on a sheet of clingfilm. Chop 200g of dill finely and spread a thick layer on each fillet. Add a thick layer of the dry cure, pressing it on, vigorously, then lay over 10 whole sprigs of dill to create a retaining layer on the side you’re going to flip over. Turn over one fillet and fit it on top of the other, cut side to cut side, rotating it so the thick edge of one fillet fits on top of the thin edge of the other, then wrap the whole sandwich tightly in several layers of clingfilm. Store in a bowl, in the fridge, for 48 hours. Unwrap the cured fish, pat it dry, and scrape off most of the cure and the chopped dill. Now lay it skin side down and take thin diagonal slices which include a lovely green layer of the cure along one edge. Serve with bread or boiled potatoes, ‘fox sauce’ and shots of icy vodka.
60 F o o d D I Y
01Food DIY CH1.indd 60
Published on Mar 12, 2013
Over recent years, across much of the world, people have started rejecting shop bought food and are getting into making it themselves. The D...