2 x 400g identical pieces salmon from the thick end
2 large beetroots
Zest of 1 orange
Zest of 2 lemons
2 juniper berries, crushed
6 tbsp rock salt
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
40 ml gin or vodka
Good handful of fresh dill leaves
Blitz the beetroots in a food processor until they are finely chopped up (or grate them and then chop them finely). Add the orange and
lemon zest and the juniper berries and give it another whiz. Stir in the salt, sugar, dill and gin and give it a good mix.
Place one sheet of baking paper on a baking tray in one direction and another longer one in the other direction. Place one salmon
fillet, skin side down on the baking paper. (I normally pull out the pin bones from the salmon if it hasn’t already been done. Just run
your finger down the middle of the fillet and you will feel them and you can pull them out with tweezers.)
Spoon the beetroot cure over the one thick piece of salmon in the tray and then put the other piece on top, flesh side down. Wrap the
salmon up tightly in the baking paper and then even tighter in clingfilm. Leave to cure in the fridge for 48 hours turning it over at least
four times.
After 48 hours scrape the beetroot cure off the salmon and then rinse with a water. It should have turned a vibrant red colour. Rewrap it tightly in baking paper and cling film and keep it in the fridge. When you are ready to serve slice it very thinly, at slight angle,
making sure that you cut it off at the skin and not through the skin. It is delicious served on a platter with dollops of horseradish
cream, some fresh dill fronds, lemon wedges, some brown bread and a simple green salad.
It will keep in the fridge tightly wrapped (if it lasts that long) for a week.
If you want to cure a whole side of salmon you can (instead of two pieces). The fish will just be more cured at the thinner tail end than
the thick end but it will still be delicious!