When I first read Nigel Slater’s recipe for Gravadlax I realised that you need no special equipment to make the cold-cured version of smoked salmon and furthermore, the flavour combinations available to you using this method are limited only by your own imagination. The advantage of using freshly grated, bright orange carrots in your cure is the fabulous colour they give to the finished gravadlax.
1 side salmon (approx 800g)
100g granulated sugar
175 g sea salt
20g cracked coriander seeds
4 tbsps vodka or other white spirit
Grated zest of two oranges
600g grated carrot
Cut the side of salmon in half and find a dish or over tray it fits into snugly. Combine all the other ingredients and quickly pack it onto the flesh side of one piece of the salmon, put the other on top – again, flesh side facing in – and wrap it tightly like a parcel with cling film. You must work quickly as the vodka will start to melt the sugar and it will try to escape the cling film if you don’t. Place the parcel in your dish or tray, weight it down with tins or whatever you have (I’ve been know to fetch a brick from the garden) and put it in the fridge. Try to remember to turn it once or twice a day for the next 4 days but don’t worry too much if you forget sometimes, and don’t panic if some liquid does leak out.
After 4 days, unwrap it, rinse off the cure and cut it at a 45 degree angle to grain of the flesh as thick or thin as you prefer.