It’s official, A glass of Gin & tonic is the nations new favourite drink. But then I think most of us knew that already. Simple and refreshing, gin has become the new drink of choice for the masses. At Dish You Were Here we have long been advocates for a G & T. But there’s m ore to Gin then just a tonic right?
Tesco’s little elves have been busy filling local shelves with County Down made Shortcross Gin. Northern Ireland’s premium craft Gin is now available to buy from selected Tesco stores. Distinctly floral with wild berries and grassy notes, It is highly aromatic with an exceptionally long and smooth finish. So thinking all things festive, we decided to introduce Shortcross to the kitchen but not in a glass. Gin cured gravadlax salmon. A Swedish classic with an Irish twist. Don’t frown. An old yet simple process of cold cooking fish, it will scream luxury when presented with those rather bland eggs on Christmas morning or served as party food it is sure to impress even the most discerning of house guests over the holiday season. Curing fish is easy. We’ll prove it to you.
Gravadlax means “grave salmon” and refers to the medieval practice of curing raw fish by salting it and then burying it in sand or with weights on top to force the salt into the fish. We aren’t asking you to dig a hole in the garden for this one so don’t panic.
To start, get your hands on some beautiful fresh salmon. A side is ideal. Frozen salmon can also be used.
The ingredients are simple.
Fresh Dill ( 40g or a good handful! )
Rock salt. ( 60g )
Golden caster sugar. ( 40g )
Juniper berries ( 2 table spoon fulls )
Black pepper corns. ( 2 tablespoons )
The zest of two lemons.
Not forgetting the all important Irish twist –
Shortcross Gin. ( 4 table spoons )
Leaving the Shortcross to the side for the moment, Add all the ingredients to a food processor and mix until you get a deep green wet spice paste.
Lay out several strips of cling film now to make life a little easier later.
Take your side of Salmon and cut it evenly into two matching halves – be sure to check if there are any bones.
Lay out half of your salmon skin side down on to the cling film and pat dry with kitchen paper. Drizzle over the Gin and then smother the top with your fresh made paste. Place the second piece of salmon on top of the first flesh side down creating a sandwich effect.
Wrap as tightly as possible with cling film and place in to the fridge. Cover with a dinner plate or similar and weight it down with something to help force the salt into the fish.
And that’s basically it! Turn it over every 12 hours and leave in the fridge for 2-4 days before removing and slicing. Be sure to lightly brush off the excess marinade with a paper towel.
You can also substitute the fresh Dill for freshly grated beetroot instead, to add a splash of seasonal colour and extra sweetness to the fish. Simply toast a handful of coriander and fennel seeds and add them to the blender instead of the juniper berries.
Further information on this and serving ideas is on our Facebook page and Instagram page @ Dish You Were Here.
Happy Christmas from us both at DYWH – cheers!
Marty & Chris