2 sides of salmon, about 1kg each
100g sea salt
150g caster sugar
8 black peppercorns, lightly crushed
60ml aquavit or vodka
150g bunch fresh dill, finely chopped, plus an extra 100g
1. Lie the salmon sides skin-side down on a work surface and run your finger along the flesh to check for pin bones. Using tweezers, remove any you find.
2. Place a double layer of cling film on the work surface. (It needs to be large enough to wrap the 2 fillets, sandwiched together.) Place one of the fillets on top, skin-side down.
3. Make the cure. Mix the salt, sugar and peppercorns in a bowl. Add the aquavit/vodka and chopped dill, then mix well. Spread the mixture evenly over the fillet. Top with the other fillet, flesh-side down, to form a sandwich.
4. Wrap tightly in the cling film and place in a ceramic or glass dish that’s just big enough to hold the fish snugly. Weigh down with a small chopping board and some weights (full cans are ideal) and chill for 24-48 hours, turning every 12 hours or so. Drain off any liquid that collects in the dish.
5. Unwrap the salmon and rinse off the cure under cold water, then pat dry with kitchen paper. Finely chop the extra dill, then spread evenly over the flesh of both fillets.
6. The gravadlax can now be sliced (see tip) and eaten, or will keep in the fridge for up to a week, re-sandwiched and wrapped in fresh cling film. When ready to eat, unwrap, separate and slice. Serve on rye bread with black pepper and a squeeze of lemon, or with mustard and dill sauce.
- To slice gravadlax lay the salmon fillet skin-side down and, using a very sharp knife, cut slices as thinly as possible. Start at the tail end of the fillet and cut at a slight angle, cutting the flesh away from the skin (discard the skin). To freeze, make the recipe up to the end of step 5, re-sandwich, wrap in fresh cling film and foil, then freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost fully in the fridge, then unwrap, separate and slice.