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Cold Cured Gravlax from Cured Meat, Smoked Fish, Pickled Eggs

Ingredients

  • 1 pound skin-on salmon filet preferably of even thickness
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large bunch fresh dill stems trimmed

Instructions

  • Pat the salmon dry with paper towels. Let it sit in the refrigerator, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. The exterior of the fish should be dry and feel a little sticky.
  • Combine the salt, sugar, and pepper in a small bowl. Rub this mixture all over the fish, concentrating on the fleshiest part but also including the sides and the skin.
  • Lay the fish, skin side down, on top of a large piece of plastic wrap. Lay the dill on top of the flesh and press it into place.
  • Wrap the fish and the dill tightly in the plastic wrap, then wrap it again, making a tight package.
  • Place the wrapped fish, skin side down, inside a ziplock bag or a shallow dish, as it may release some liquid as it cures.
  • Place a flat 1-pound weight on top of the fish, such as a dinner plate with a bag or rice of beans on top. Allow the fish to cure in the refrigerator for three days.
  • Unwrap the fish and discard the dill. Rinse the fish and pat it dry. The National Center for Home Food Preservation recommends heating the fish to an internal temperature of 140°F/60°C. I must admit, however, that though this is the safest practice, it will completely change the silky texture of the fish. Nevertheless, preheat your oven to 200°F/90°C.
  • Place a rack on top of a baking sheet. Place the gravlax on the rack and heat in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until it reaches 140°F/60°C at its thickest part.
  • To serve, slice long, thin pieces against the grain of the fish. I find it easier to slice the whole thing once, but this is up to you.
  • Note that after curing, the skin gets sort of flabby.
  • Storage: Keep the fish, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Wrapped airtight, it can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Notes

This recipe is excerpted from Karen Solomon's excellent book, Cured Meat, Smoked Fish, & Pickled Eggs