For Christmas this year, I made a salmon dish which I will definitely be making again regularly this year. It’s a great dish for a dinner party. This beetroot cured salmon was pretty cheap (we got an entire side of salmon for £12. I froze two fillets to have later in the year, served 6 people a generous portion of starters, and had loads leftover to eat during the week), and ridiculously easy. So easy that I did question why I’ve never done this before!
The recipe I used was based on this one from Good Food, but in the end we didn’t have any horse radish, so we didn’t use any. We also didn’t have fillets, we had a whole side, so the process slightly changed, although not by much.
Top tip: Beetroot is a bitch to get out once its stained your skin, so use some rubber gloves.
- 1/2 side of salmon (skin on)
- 200g caster sugar
- 3 unpeeled, medium beetroot, grated
- 140g salt flakes
- 1 bunch of dill, chopped
Step one: Bring the sugar, beetroot, salt and dill together in a bowl and mix well.
Step two: Layer a large piece of cling film on to a baking tray and put half of the mixture on top of it. Then place the salmon on top, and put the rest of the mixture on top of this, creating a nice sandwich of beetrooty sugary saltiness around the salmon. Try to get the mixture evenly distributed around the salmon.
Step three: Wrap the cling film tightly around the salmon. I ended up doing 3 or 4 layers of cling film to make sure it was completely sealed in. Then place the salmon, skin side down, on a large baking tray with side. Put a smaller tray on top of the salmon, weighted down with canned veggies.
Step four: Place carefully in the fridge and leave there for 3-4 days, turning over every day and emptying the bigger tray of any liquid that is released (and there is a fair amount of it!).
Step five: Unwrap the salmon, wash off the beetroot and salt (Good Food recommends just brushing it off, but I didn’t think that got rid of the salt enough) and then carve into thin slices. Serve on blinis* with a bit of creme fraiche mixed up with some more fresh dill.
A wonderful starter! And the colour of the salmon is incredible – it really looks very impressive.
*For Christmas this year, I bought blinis, because I was trying to minimise the amount of cooking we had to do on the day, but I’ve actually made them before (I think using this recipe) and they were MUCH better tasting than shop bought. They’re not too hard to make, either.