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Beetroot cured salmon

By December 09, 2015 , ,

Despite what people think, gravadlax is very easy to make, it just requires thinking about a couple of days before you actually need it. Another thing I like about this recipe is that it’s very seasonal and looks impressive, especially if you are making it for a party. It is something that will impress your guests as the beetroot that is used to cure the salmon not only gives it a great colour but imparts a lovely earthy flavour. This also works well smoked. 

You can also cold or hot smoke this for some added flavour. I find apple or cherry wood works best with the beetroot. If cold smoking give yourself an extra couple of days to prepare this.  I like to use poitín (Irish moonshine) for this particular cure, the smoky sweetness works really well with the beetroot, I've opted for the Teeling spirit of Dublin, which is one of the best ones on the market, the others are too sweet or too harsh, the Teeling one is very smooth and complex. You can also use genever, it's best to use an oude genever if you do, it has more flavour. 

500g - 750g salmon fillet preferably with skin on

For the cure
2 medium sized beetroot topped, tailed and peeled
75g salt
90g sugar
30ml Teeling spirit of Dublin poitín
20g dill

Whizz all ingredients together in a food processor until pureed
Pour a little of the cure into a flat dish and place the salmon skin side down on top and pour the rest of the cure over the salmon
Cover the dish with cling film and place in the fridge for 48 hours
You can serve this as is thinly sliced serve with the sauce or on some toasted bagels with horseradish creme fraiche

Hot smoking

Wash off the cure and dry thoroughly
Set your BBQ up for indirect cooking at 100c
I like to use applewood chips for this but cherrywood also works well too
Allow some of the initial smoke to die down before placing the salmon in the BBQ
Cook the salmon until it reaches 68c core temp this may take about 30 - 45 minutes but use the core temperature as a guide to when it is ready

If you want to cold smoke

Wash off the cure and dry off, allow 1-2 days for it to dry and form a pellicule, which will help the smoke take better, you can air dry it in the fridge
Use apple or cherry wood dust and cold smoke for 3 - 6 hours depending on how strongly flavoured you like the smoke. 
The larger the piece, the longer it will need for smoking

10g freshly grated horseradish (or more if you like, I like lots!)
125ml creme fraiche
15g dijon mustard
2g sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
5ml lemon juice

Mix together all the ingredients

To serve thinly slice the salmon and serve with either rye or soda bread and some of the sauce.

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