Start with the freshest, most pristine salmon fillet you can find, and youâ€™ll marvel at what salt, sugar and three days can do. In this version of the Swedish snack, vodka and gin yield to a juniper-kissed pale ale. The flavors work splendidly: The juniperâ€™s clean, slightly piney flavor beautifully complements the salmon. Serve gravlax the classic way, on crispbread or alongside some baby greens with a sweet mustard-dill sauce. Or, use it to top potato pancakes or even thick-cut kettle chips, adding a dollop of crĂ¨me fraĂ®che and a sprig of fresh dill.
- 1⁄3 cup kosher salt
- 1⁄3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, crushed
- 1 teaspoon (or more) juniper berries, crushed
- 2-pound center-cut salmon fillet, skin on, cut in half crosswise
- 1 bunch fresh dill
- 3 tablespoons Rogue Juniper Pale Ale
• In a small bowl, combine the salt, sugar, peppercorns and juniper.
• Line a baking dish with a large sheet of foil, leaving a few inches of overhang, and top with a piece of plastic wrap the same size. Place one piece of the salmon, skin-side down, in the dish; cover the fish evenly with the salt-sugar mixture, patting it down lightly.
• Lay the dill over the salmon and sprinkle with the ale. Top with the remaining piece of salmon, skin-side up, and with the thickest area of the top piece matched to the thinnest area of the bottom piece. Wrap tightly in the plastic wrap, then again in the foil; top with another baking dish, and weigh down with a few heavy cans. Refrigerate for 3 days, turning the salmon every 12 hours, basting between the fillets with the accumulated juices each time.
• When ready to serve, use a paper towel to scrape the dill and seasonings from the salmon. Transfer the salmon to a cutting board, and using a long, sharp knife held almost parallel to the board, slice diagonally to remove the skin. The gravlax can be refrigerated, tightly wrapped, for up to a week, or frozen for up to a month.
TRY WITH: Our mustard-dill sauce