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Beet cured salmon is far simpler than you may think. It takes just moments to prepare and then you leave it in the fridge for 36 hours, go off and do other things, and once it’s done you look really good at your work Christmas party because you brought fancy little rye crackers with your own cured salmon, zesty horseradish cream, caviar and radish. You can’t go wrong. Make sure to use really good quality salmon for this, it makes a huge difference. Feel free to use gin in place of vodka, both work a treat. Will easily make enough for 30 + crackers.
Beet Cured Salmon
1 salmon side (approx. 800g)
2 beetroots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 bunch of dill
2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
60ml vodka (gin works too)
85g sea salt
85g caster sugar
1 pack of good quality rye crackers
4-6 radishes, sliced thinly
300ml sour cream
3 teaspoons fresh or jarred grated horseradish
½ bunch of dill, chopped
Zest from 1 lemon, grated
Black caviar (lumpfish caviar is fine and affordable)
36 hours before intending to serve, add all ingredients for the beet cured salmon, except for the salmon, to a food processor and pulse a couple of times until it forms a chunky paste.
Make sure that you have carefully checked for and removed any bones that may be in your salmon. You can remove the skin, too, if you like, but it’s not essential. Removing the skin will give you a beautiful beet coloured the whole way around the salmon.
Line a small baking dish, approximately the size of your salmon with plenty of plastic wrap (at least 2 layers). Pour about a third of the beet mixture onto the plastic wrap, followed by your salmon and then pour the remaining beet mixture over the top. Make sure all of the salmon is generously coated, give it a bit of a rub. Now seal up all of the plastic wrap.
Place another small baking dish over the top, to help weigh it down pop something a bit hefty in this dish. Now place in the fridge for 36 hours.
After 36 hours, remove from the fridge and carefully wash off the beet mixture using cold water. Under the tap is fine, but have it on a gentle stream. Pat dry with paper towel.
In a small bowl, combine sour cream, lemon zest, horseradish and chopped dill.
Lay out your crackers and top each of them with a dollop of the sour cream mixture. Thinly slice your cured salmon and layer this on next, followed by a slice of radish and a little spoon of caviar. Garnish with any spare dill you may have.