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Spiced trout gravlax

A fresh and flavoursome recipe that will get all your guests intrigued and taste buds tingling.


The cure

In a dry pan add the mace, juniper berries, cinnamon, star anise, cloves and orange peel and lightly toast.

Place them in a pestle and mortar and roughly grind. Put the salt and sugar into a medium sized bowl, and add the spice mix, dill and bay leaf and stir well.

The gravlax

Place one fillet skin side down and generous amount of the cure mix on top of the flesh followed by the half the grated beetroot (so that it seeps into the flesh of the trout and changes the colour).

Do exactly the same process with the second fillet, skin side down place the cure followed by the grated beetroot to produce the beautiful rich colour.

Wrap securely with cling film, put on a large plate, place another plate on top and weigh down with something heavy, eg, a cast-iron pan or mortar and pestle. Place in the fridge for 24-36 hours.

After the 24-36 hours remove cling film and pour off the liquid that has seeped out of the trout during the curing process. Wipe the trout fillets clean with a paper towel to get rid of the wilted dill and any excess salt and sugar. The trout will be a deeper colour and the flesh much firmer.

For the cucumber

Use a fork to run through the surface of the cucumber, vertically downwards, to obtain a fluted pattern when sliced.

Peel the cucumber into thin slices lengthways and put into a large bowl, sprinkle with salt and mix well. Leave the cucumber for 10 minutes to absorb the salt then rinse with cold water. Drain off excess liquid in a colander. Return cucumber to the large bowl.

Grate the fresh root ginger. Cut the stem ginger into thin slices and add the fennel seeds and crushed cardamom seeds into the sugar, vinegar and the two types of ginger together. Add the cucumber ribbons and mix well in a Kilner jar and refrigerate overnight or for a few hours before serving.

For the dressing

Mix the mustard, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper together well in a medium-sized bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil to form an emulsification. Stir in the chopped dill, adjust seasoning to taste and serve chilled.

Serving suggestions

Serve with freshly made crusty bread.

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Spiced trout gravlax:

  • 1 tsp mace
  • 5 juniper berries
  • ½ stick of cinnamon
  • 2 star anise
  • 5 cloves
  • Peel of 1 orange
  • 100g salt
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 1 handful of chopped dill
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 organic trout, filleted and pin boned
  • 1 beetroot, grated

Pickled cucumber:

  • 1 whole cucumber, peeled lengthways with a peeler including skin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 20g fresh root ginger
  • 4 stem ginger in sugar syrup
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 3 cardamom pods -50g sugar -60ml cider vinegar

Hovmästarsås dressing:

  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1tbsp local honey
  • Salt and pepper - a pinch of each
  • 200ml rapeseed oil
  • 1 sprig of fresh dill, chopped

This recipe is taken from...

River Cottage HQ

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