With a nod to my home country I have sloshed some whisky into my classic salt and sugar cure. The whisky imparts a very subtle flavour to the fish which isn’t strong enough to put off those who can’t abide our national drink. Next time I am going to try a peaty number like my favourite Laphroaig whisky- which I think will work very well with the oily fish. It is worth noting that the salmon freezes beautifully so once it is cured you can wrap it in cling film and freeze it for up to two months. I serve the salmon in thickish slices with homemade sourdough rye bread and pickled cucumber.
- 1 side salmon fillet, pin-boned and skin on
- 200g caster sugar
- 125g rock salt
- 150ml whisky
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped dill (about a 20g packet)
- 2 teaspoons pink peppercorns, roughly ground
- Find a roasting tin or deep-lipped tray which is big enough to lay the salmon in. Line the tin or tray with a double layer of foil.
- Mix the caster sugar with the rock salt and sprinkle half over the foil. Lay the salmon on top, skin-side down and cover the fish with the remaining salt/sugar mix. Spoon over the whisky. Cover with cling film and place a board or smaller roasting tin on top. Weigh it down with some cans of soup or whatever you have in the larder.
- Refrigerate the salmon for 48 hours, turning it over after 24 hours.
- Lift the salmon out of the cure and pat dry with kitchen roll. Either wrap the fish in cling film at this stage and freeze or place the salmon on a board and sprinkle over the dill and pink peppercorns, pressing them into the flesh. Slice the fish and serve with pickled cucumber and rye or brown bread.