Gravlax is a Scandinavian dish that involves curing the freshest possible salmon in a mixture of spices, fresh dill, and vodka. Gravlax is a labour of love, a delectably satisfying reward for care, attention, and a free hand with the vodka… Real Gravlax is plump and rosy and redolent of the sea, of fresh, salty breezes, and of Christmas…
• 1 side of salmon, preferably boned or split down the middle
• 1/8 Cup Sea/Rock Salt
• 1/8 Cup Sugar
• 1 Tablespoons Crushed Peppercorns
• 1 bunches Fresh Dill, stalk-ends removed.
• 1/8 Cup Aquavit or Vodka
• 1/8 Cup white wine (optional)
1) Lay a long sheet of cling film across the casserole dish, and place the side of salmon on top, skin side down.
2) Mix the salt, sugar and crushed peppercorns together, and spread them evenly across the salmon. If desired, you can also add a little lemon zest at this stage. Press one bunch of dill on top of each side of salmon.
3) Mix the wine and Vodka together in a jug & pour over.
4) Pull up the cling film to cover and wrap. Press down and cover with a plate large enough to cover the salmon, and weigh down with something suitably heavy. Place in the refrigerator & drink the remaining wine and Vodka!
5) TWELVE HOURS LATER: Remove, unwrap, and carefully turn the salmon over, so that the top side is now underneath and vice-versa. Baste with the accumulated liquid. Re-wrap, replace weights and return to the fridge. Ideally repeat this process every 12 hours over the next two days.
6) CURED! Your Gravlax is now complete. Remove from the casserole, and separate into two halves. Discard the dill & scrape off any excess cure mix. Now for the tricky bit! Make sure you have a very sharp carving knife. Slice the fish as thinly as possible across the top, so that your knife is almost flat on the fish. Arrange the slices on a serving platter.
7) FINALLY… Serve your Gravlax very simply, arranged on a large platter, with plenty of really good quality bread