This is a tasty recipe perfect over Passover. Ideal for a family Yom Tov when you have extra guests.
Make in advance and slice up just before you need it.
Enjoy with salad, matzah or new potatoes.
Curing salmon takes just 48 hours for the actual curing, plus a recommended extra 12 – 48 hours resting time to allow the salt to redistribute more evenly throughout the salmon.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes plus 48 hours curing plus 48 hours resting
Serves: 8-10 people
I kg single piece of FRESH salmon, skin on (even thickness already trimmed)
400g raw beetroot – peeled and diced in cm cubes
250g cooking salt granules (not table salt -the grains too fine, it makes salmon inedibly salty). Also, do NOT use iodised salt. The packet will say if it IS iodised. Iodised salt can make the salmon brown.
160ml white/ distilled vinegar
150g caster sugar
4 teaspoons white peppercorns – whole
4 teaspoons coriander seeds – whole
5 ½ tablespoons Vodka – KFP (Kosher for Pesach)
200g sour cream
3 tablespoons horseradish fresh – finely grated
Zest of ½ lemon
1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
3 tablespoons fresh Dill
Beetroot cure– Place the beetroot, sugar, salt plus vodka, peppercorns, and coriander seeds in a food processor.
Blitz until quite smooth, like a smoothie. It should not be totally liquified, but you still want the beetroot to be blitzed until very fine.
Line container– Select a container that fits the salmon snugly, and ideally has a lid. If the container is too large, the beetroot mixture will spread too thinly, and this might compromise how intensely the red colour stains the salmon and how well the curing mixture goes to work on the salmon.
Line the container with two big sheets of cling wrap, overlapping and perpendicular like a cross. Make sure the cling wrap sheets are large enough to fully enclose the salmon once wrapped. Then spread the beetroot mixture onto the cling wrap inside the container.
Place salmon on top of the beetroot mixture, flesh side down. Press down lightly to ensure the flesh is fully in contact with the beetroot mixture.
Cure 48 hours or even longer it the salmon is not quite firm to touch. Wrap salmon with the cling wrap, place lid on if you have one (else wrap tightly with more cling wrap) and refrigerate for 48 hours.
This is the curing process. The salt and sugar will draw moisture out of the salmon, in turn preserving fish and extending its shelf life. The flesh of the salmon will be thus drier and firmer than it is when raw;
Unwrap the salmon. There will be more liquid than you started with. This is due to the moisture drawn out of the salmon during the curing process;
Rinse the salmon under the tap to get rid of excess salt and beetroot mix;
Rest 12 – 24 hours(recommended) – Pat the salmon dry. If time permits, place the salmon in a clean container and leave it overnight in the fridge for at least 12 and preferably 24 hours. This allows the opportunity for what salt is now in the salmon to redistribute more evenly throughout the meat. If you serve the salmon straight after removing it from the cure, you will find that the surface is saltier than the middle.
Horseradish cream: Mix ingredients together until smooth.
Plating: Place uncut salmon on a serving platter (one you can cut on). Scatter salmon with capers and fresh dill.
Place horseradish cream on the side, along with fresh lemon if using.
To serve: Cut thin slices down to the skin (but not through it). Pivot the knife blade so it's almost parallel to the skin and cut the each slice carefully away from the skin (you cannot eat the skin).
Storage: Salmon keeps for 4 to 5 days after removal of salt (so factor in extra overnight resting if you do that).