Gravlax

Gravlax dude - it really ties the room together

Gravlax Ingredients

  • 2 Lb skin-on salmon fillet (if possible, ask your fishmonger to remove pin bones)
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries, roughly crushed
  • 3 Tbs kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup Norwegian cask-aged aquavit, such as Linie, boiled and reduced to ¼ cup, and cooled to room temperature
  • 4 large bunches dill

Sauce Ingredients

  • 1.5 Oz white vinegar
  • 2 Tbs chopped dill
  • 3 -4 Tbs Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 - 3/4 Tsp sugar
  • 0.5 - 1 Oz Vodka
  • 1/4 Cup olive oil
  • Cracked black pepper

What to do with everything

  1. In a skillet, toast caraway seeds over high heat, stirring constantly, for around 30 seconds. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and grind finely.
  2. In a small bowl, mix salt, sugar, ground caraway, roughly crushed juniper berries, and black pepper.
  3. On a chopping board or clean baking tray, turn salmon skin side up and sprinkle over half of the salt mixture, rubbing with fingers.
  4. Arrange two bunches of dill in the bottom of a deep baking dish large enough to fit the salmon fillet. Place the salmon skin side down and pour over the reduced aquavit. Leave to sit for one minute, and then add the remaining salt mixture evenly over the salmon. Top with remaining dill, wrap the baking dish in plastic wrap, then press lightly with a weight (such as a small baking dish). Refrigerate for one day.
  5. Remove salmon and turn skin side up. Re-cover with dill, plastic, and weight. Refrigerate for one more day for a light cure, or two more days for a longer cure with a more intense flavor but slightly firmer texture.
  6. Wash and pat dry with kitchen paper towel. Consume within 5 days.
  7. For the sauce: In a blender, combine vinegar with mustard, sugar, and dill, and blend until the herbs are very finely chopped. Gradually add oil with the blender still running, until a smooth emulsified sauce has formed. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. To serve: Using a very sharp slicing knife, cut gravlax into thin slices. Try to allow the sharp blade to do the work for you, so that you only need to cut in horizontal strokes and apply very little to no downward pressure. Peel off the skin.
  9. Arrange slices on a plate. Serve with a lemon wedge, cold new potatoes tossed in dill sauce, and an extra drizzle of sauce on top of the salmon.