Gravadlax

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by bughut, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. bughut

    bughut

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    I've always wanted to try making gravadlax and with our local Morrisons selling a side of salmon at 1/2 price, for £5/ $6.50ish I'm champing at the bit to show off at christmas.

    I know how to make it ?? recipes are welcome tho. My main question is keepability. Does one hope the curing with keep it fresh that long, or is it freezable. ( It hasnt been previously frozen ) Also, how soon can it be eaten. If within a few days, I'll make one for next weekend as a trial run and buy more for christmas.

    I suspect it may not be the best quality at that price. But maybe its simply a supermarket loss leader.
     
  2. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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  3. suzanne

    suzanne

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  4. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Gravlax aka gravadlax is extremely easy to make. After it's made, it can be frozen and will keep very well for a very long time.

    I just cured what started as a beautiful 14#, before trimming, Scottish salmon (more than 10% fat!) a couple of weeks ago. I started by trimming the salmon well (your fishmonger will probably do that for you), including cutting about four or five inches of the tail to freeze and hold as uncured fillets.

    When you make your gravlax, you can cure it as quickly as overnight, or for as long as three or four days (although that will involve refreshing the "cure"). I prefer a longer cure, myself.

    Cures are almost always very simple, to the point where someone who knows her way around the kitchen as well as you do doesn't really need much of a recipe. For instance, my last one was 3 parts kosher salt, 2 parts sugar a little white pepper, copious amounts of dill, and a splash of vodka -- aquavit is a nice substitute for the vodka, and so are gin and tequila.

    For my large salmon, I made roughly 1-1/2 cups of cure, then refreshed the cure and dill two days later with about half the original amount.

    I put the salmon in a pan flesh side out, splashed it with vodka (Hendrick's Gin would be a great choice); put some dill sprigs on the fish, covered it generously with cure, laid some more dill sprigs on one side; then laid one side on another -- flesh to flesh and skin out, and tightly covered the curing pan with cling wrap.

    Some people like to wrap the salmon itself in cling wrap -- it's a neater package, but the excess moisture won't press out as well.

    During the curing period -- three days in this case -- the salmon was pressed under a weighted pan in the fridge; and turned and drained once a day. Over the three days, the salmon lost at least two cups of liquid -- maybe more.

    When the salmon was finally cured, I sliced one whole side very thin -- about 1/4 for my refrigerator (still have a little), and the rest wento into the freezer as a gift for my father who will receive it tomorrow. The other side, I cut into thirds, wrapped each separately and froze. I'll, be defrosting and slicing one on Monday.

    I imagine you're thinking of portioning your salmon, and reserving a part of it in much the same way. Be of good cheer. You're fine.

    If you want more detail -- as in an actual, written out recipe -- just let me know, and as always I'll be glad to oblige. That said, almost any uncomplicated recipe will work well. Mine is nothing special.

    BDL
     
  5. bughut

    bughut

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    Thank you all.

    i did look at the archives Suzanne and Zuberigs' recipe appealed. Aquavit is a typical Norwegian addition, and i think the caraway will give a lovely flavour.

    Mezz, Ina Garten is great, but since i watched her making humus without tahini, I'm sometimes sceptical when it comes to her recipes. Besides, the addition of fennel seeds in her gravadlax doesnt appeal.
    I'd be interested to know what Julia has to say tho. I dont know her work. But I'm aware that she is an American favourite

    ~Thanks to your help, i now know the cure only take 2/3 days. I am surprised. So I'll make a batch for the weekend and stock up more in the freezer for christmas.

    I would have clingwrapped the fish till i read your post BDL. I like the idea of it losing moisture.Cant quite describe the feeling in the mouth when enjoying gravadlax, or a fabulous smoked salmon. Unctious comes to mind. ~I'm excited at the prospect of producing my own at long last.
     
  6. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    Forgive me for asking,

    But what is the official recipe ?

    I was telling my father all about this today "while I was trying to stir him away from his Nigella....." he looked at me and said " Salmon, in brine ?...do you have a recipe?"

    So now he would like a project !

    If you have one, please let me know. "Oh Papa...."
     
  7. 156current

    156current

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    There is no "official" recipe, since gravlax is an old Scandinavian way of preserving fish. It literally means "grave salmon", or "salmon from the grave", and the name comes from a time when fishermen would bury salmon near the high-tide line, where it would be salted and lightly fermented on its own.

    The way I remember how to make gravlax is 1-2-3, sugar-pepper-salt. One tbs of sugar, two tbs of crushed white pepper corns and 3 tbs of salt. Then add a large bunch of freshly chopped dill. Spread the mixture over the fillet and put it in the fridge for 72 hours. If you have a whole fish, then fillet it and put the fillets together, like a sandwich, with the mixture inbetween. Put a weight on top of the fish and turn it once or twice a day.
     
  8. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    Thank you for the origin, a good friend explained this to me......

    But in Chef BDL's post he spoke about vodka (or gin)....

    "For my large salmon, I made roughly 1-1/2 cups of cure, then refreshed the cure and dill two days later with about half the original amount. "

    Can you please tell me how much Vodka to use ?
     
  9. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Just posted a "formal" recipe with specified ingredient amounts, and all of the technique I could think of in its own thread in the recipe forum.

    BDL
     
  10. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    Chef BDL,


    Thank you so much, I really appreciate the recipe. For someone who never made it , comes as relief.
    It will now be a project for the both of us.

    Merci !