Beetroot-cured salmon

We always have salmon over the holidays. Smoked, whole baked Crusader style with cinnamon and dried fruit, cold decorated with citrussy mustard jellied mayonnaise, or Russian pie with rice, hard-boiled eggs, dill and puff pastry. I like it with horseradish, too. We love beetroot as well, best of all being Russian beetroot caviar with garlic, prunes and brandy.

I've never tried making home-cured gravadlax, but this looks like an interesting place to start. From Good Food December 2005. Says serves 8 with leftovers, the calorie count is 306 per serving but that's based on 12 servings.

  • 2 skin-on salmon fillets, about 3lb in total
  • 8 oz caster sugar
  • 5 oz seasalt flakes
  • 3 oz fresh horseradish
  • 3 medium raw beetroot, grated but not necessarily peeled
  • 1 bunch dill, chopped


  • 1 frisee or oak leaf lettuce
  • 4 medium beetroot, cooked, peeled and diced (that would be one vacuum-pack of pre-cooked)
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • drizzle olive oil


  • 1 200ml tub creme fraiche
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp fresh horseradish
  • handful dill fronds, chopped

Check the salmon fillets for pin bones. Mix up all the other ingredients to make the cure. Lay out a double-thickness of cling film and spoon on some of the cure. Top with one piece of salmon, skin side down. Add most of the rest of the cure. Sandwich together with the other piece of salmon, skin side up. Add the last of the cure, wrap up tightly. Put in a container (like a roasting tray), and weight. Keep somewhere cool (fridge or garage if it's cold enough) for at least 3 days or up to a week. Check every day, pour away surplus liquid, turn the salmon, and re-weight.

On the day, unwrap the salmon and brush off the remaining cure. Slice into thin slivers. Mix up the dressing and toss the salad.

The salmon will now keep in the fridge for a week and can be used as smoked salmon.

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4 Responses to “Beetroot-cured salmon”

  1. Sofa Says:

    Started it off today. 2 fillets of wild pacific salmon (20% off in Waitrose), of approx the right weight. Half a new jar of grated horseradish, 4 small beetroot coarsely grated, 3 small packets of dill snipped with scissors, Maldon salt flakes and caster sugar. It's in a roasting tin, already oozing loads of bright purple juice, in the bottom of the fridge with a board and a weight on top. The weight is actually the beef which needs spicing, tomorrow, probably.

  2. Sofa Says:

    It's getting very purple. Still oozing, but slackening off from the large amount on the first 2 days. We're now on Day 4, I aim to unwrap it on the day before Christmas Eve to test a wee bit, and serve for Christmas Day breakfast. So it'll come out of the cure in exactly 1 week.

  3. Sofa Says:

    Oh wow. We had about a quarter of it for Christmas breakfast. The cure was a pain to wipe off (disposal vinyl gloves really helped). It's sweet, tender, slices really easily, and tastes divine. A bit salty, but with blinis, eggs, and creme fraiche with fresh herb garnish, it was really spiffy.

  4. Sofa Says:

    Made it again for Christmas 2007, same amount of cure but using 6 individual fat farmed salmon fillets. It worked well and plated up nicely, everyone got a fillet each, and could carve it how they wanted.

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