I love trying new cooking techniques and this beet cured salmon gravlax is something that have been on my list of things to make. I am so glad I did! It was fun seeing it come together and even more fun eating it.
The curing technique for this is pretty straightforward--curing food goes back hundreds of years. Salt and sugar draws out moisture from the salmon and the added aromatics flavor the meat in the process. Slice it thinly on some toasted bread, serve with some scrambled eggs and you are good to go.
Make this for the uncommon holidays and wow your guest! What cooking techniques or new foods are you looking to make?
Beet Cured Salmon Gravlax
- 1 pound center cut salmon
- 1 large red beet (unpeeled)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups kosher salt
- 5 juniper berries (toasted and coarsely ground)
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns (toasted and coarsely ground)
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped dill (stems included)
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped tarragon
- 1 tablespoon gin
- Rinse the fillet and dry it with a paper towel and lay it on a piece of parchment paper. Remove any pin bones and set salmon aside.
- Cover your cutting board with a layer of plastic wrap so it doesn’t stain from the beets. With a grater, grate the raw beets on the biggest holes on a box grater. Gather up the grated beets in the plastic wrap and transfer them to a food processor.
- Add the sugar, salt, juniper, and peppercorns to the food processor. Pulse mixture 7-10 times in short spurts until mixture begins to look uniform and sandy. Transfer the beet mixture to a mixing bowl, add the lemon zest, dill, and tarragon, mix well with your hands.
- Splash the gin across the flesh and the skin side of the salmon and make sure to smooth it all over the salmon. Place the salmon flesh side down, onto the the parchment paper. Spread half of the beet-salt mixture evenly over the salmon. Flip the salmon over, skin side down, on top of the beet mixture and pack the remaining beet-salt mixture across the flesh side of the salmon. Fold up the edged of the parchment paper toward the salmon and then fold the bottom side over the top. Wrap the entire salmon package in several layers of plastic wrap (must make sure it is sealed very). Lay the salmon on a rimmed baking sheet (make sure the baking sheaths at least 1/2-inch sides, as a lot of liquid will escape). Place another baking sheet on top and top the second sheet with any object or objects weighing a total of about 5 pounds.
- Refrigerate the weighted baking sheets for 16-18 hours. After that time, flip the salmon over, then reweigh it and refrigerate for another 16-18 hours. Open the salmon package and brush away the excess beet-salt mixture, reserving the mixture in case you find you need to continue curing the salmon for a few more hours.
- The salmon is ready when it springs back gently when you touch it. If it is extremely hard, it is over-cured. If it is too soft, it had not cured long enough. Best way to know if it is ready is to cut a thin slice and taste it.
- When fully cured, rinse the salmon with water and pat dry with paper towels. Lay the salmon on the cutting board and slice horizontally between the skins of the salmon and the flesh to separate the two. Do not remove all of the salmon from its skin, slice only about 2 inches deep.
- Serve with eggs, pasta, toast or fold into some delicious cream cheese.
Lovely recipe adapted from Taste & Technique