Dishes centered around salmon are my favourite to prepare. Whether for breakfast, lunch, dinner or appetizers, there are many flavours that can be infused to make each dish exciting and different. Despite a long family tradition of smoking and canning salmon, I had yet to attempt making gravlax. Many people use a hefty amount of dill when preparing gravlax, but I didn’t have any readily available and wanted to experiment with using gin as the main flavour.
This recipe is based off simple ingredients that are always available in my pantry and can easily be doubled or tripled if you want to cure more. These are simple flavours that enhance the salmon without overwhelming it – a delicious treat served on a bagel with cream cheese, with cucumbers, on crackers, or, if you’re like us, just by itself while slicing it!
1 lb salmon filet
2 tbsp gin
1/4 cup coarse sea salt
1/4 cup cane sugar
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
Rinse salmon filet and pat dry. Remove any pin bones with tweezers. Then, in a small bowl, combine the coarse sea salt, cane sugar and black pepper. Sprinkle half the mixture into a bottom of a nonreactive dish. Place the filet into the dish skin-side down, then carefully pour the gin over the filet. Spread the second half of the salt/sugar mixture on the flesh side of the filet.
Cover the salmon with plastic wrap, and then stack heavy things on top of it – I used glass dishes and the mostly full bottle of gin – and place in the fridge. Let cure for 12 hours before removing from the fridge and uncovering. Drain any liquid from the bottom of the dish, re-cover, and place back in fridge to cure for another 24 to 36 hours (draining any more liquid as necessary).
To prepare for eating, pat dry and slice thinly, against the grain.