Curing Salmon in gin is one of the simplest forms of curing, but don’t think that makes it any the less delicious! The delicate freshness of the fish is the perfect canvas for the aromatics of so fine a gin as Whitmore Gin. Its distinctive jasmine, cubeb pepper and pink grapefruit impart gloriously on the fish, and its high alcohol content help firm up the flesh. Sliced either finely - or indeed thick, as I like it - it makes an interesting and impressive starter to the Christmas lunch.
1-1.5kg side of salmon, skinned and trimmed at the edges
200ml of Whitmore Gin
100g of sugar
100g of sea salt, finely ground
paired zest of 3 lemons
12 juniper berries, lightly crushed
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Mix together all the marinade ingredients and spread liberally over both sides of the salmon.
Lay out a few layers of cling film on the work surface and place the salmon on top, along with any remaining marinade.
Fold the cling film around the salmon, and place in a container.
Place a tray on top of the fish with a light weight on top of that again - that bottle of gin will do.
Leave in the fridge for 24hrs, then turn the salmon over, placing the tray and weight back on top, and return to the fridge for a further 24hrs.
After this time, remove the cling film and wash the salmon briefly under a cold tap, then pat dry with some kitchen towel.
This is marvellous served with a salad made up of chopped cucumber, dill, parsley and mint , dressed with a little olive oil, salt and lemon. Perhaps a little creme fraiche to boot. And to drink? Well it could only be a Whitmore Gin and tonic... Enjoy!
Until Next Time,
The Game Chef - Tom Godber-Ford Moore