Most of you are familiar with Gravad Lax, a popular delicacy in the English-speaking world, and English has naturally adopted the short version of its name, gravlax. There seems to be endless ways to flavour this fish from beetroot, horseradish to gin and juniper. You may not be aware of the lesser known Swedish classic ‘Rimmad lax’ Brined Salmon, another way of curing fish. Salt and sugar is added to cold water along with perhaps other flavourings, i.e, lemon peel, horseradish, ginger, early grey tea or even beer. It is normally served with potatoes cooked in milk and cream and infused with dill, ‘Dillstuvad Potatis’ I find the salmon has a more mellow flavour, a pleasing sheen and appears plump and moist.
It is a very simple process, you just need to plan a couple of days ahead. As I mentioned in my recipe for Gravad Lax it is important to freeze the salmon for 10-12 hours to ensure that any parasites are killed off unless of course you have bought wild, then you are very, very lucky! I have prepared it as a starter but in actual fact it is a main course, either way it’s truly delicious. The potatoes are cooked in milk and cream with the addition of dill and lemon zest at the end. The pickled cucumber couldn’t be more simple to make.
- Ask your fishmonger for salmon for curing or sashimi grade.
- The middle cuts of salmon tend to work better for this dish, but you can also use the tails.
- Use the brined salmon within 3-4 days.
Brined Salmon with Creamy Dill infused Potatoes and Lightly Pickled Cucumber
Yield 4 portions
- 400g skin on Salmon fillet, middle cut
- 500mls water
- 60g Fine Sea salt
- 45g Caster sugar
- the peel of half a lemon, pith removed
- 2cm piece horseradish, peeled and sliced
Dill Infused Potatoes
- 450g Waxy Potatoes
- 15g Butter
- 200ml Whole Milk
- 50ml Whipping Cream
- a little Lemon zest
- 1 Small Cucumber, peeled
- 50ml White or White wine vinegar
- 35g Caster sugar
- 75ml Cold water
- 1/2tsp Sea salt
To Garnish; Lemon zest, fresh grated horseradish and dill sprigs.
- Pour the water into a shallow glass dish suitable for the salmon to sit in, add the salt and sugar and stir to dissolve. Now add the lemon and horseradish. Put the salmon in the salt solution, then leave it in the fridge for 2-3 days.
- Remove the salmon from the salt solution and pat dry. Cut the salmon into thin slices with a sharp knife.
- Peel the cucumber and cut in half length ways. Remove the seeds and cut into batons. place it into a non reactive tub with a lid. Add the vinegar, salt, sugar and water and stir to dissolve. Put the lid on and leave undisturbed for at least 20 minutes in the fridge.
- Peel the potatoes and cut into 1cm cubes. Melt the butter in a saucepan on a medium heat. Add the potatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes on low, stirring occasionally. Now add the milk and cream, cook on low until the potatoes are just cooked through, approximately 5-8 minutes. If you find the liquid has evaporated too much add a little more milk, season with salt and pepper and finally a little lemon zest.
- Place the warm potatoes in the centre of the dish, arrange a few slices of salmon on the top and finally the cucumber without too much of the pickling liquid on one side along with a few sprigs of dill, grate a little horseradish and lemon zest on the salmon. Serve immediately.