lb piece of salmon, very fresh , skin off for easier slicing at the end
tsp whole black peppercorns
tbsp coarse sea salt or pickling salt
tsp white sugar
To serve: thinly sliced rye bread, seeded crackers, or crisp bread, perhaps with sliced cucumbers, a dill herbed cream cheese
Wash the beet and give it a good brush to remove any bits of soil. Trim off the stems and grate the beet into a mixing bowl. Add the gin, peppercorns, salt and sugar and mix together.
Remove the skin from the salmon, and place the fish in a glass roasting dish. Taking the skin off before curing makes slicing easier, but if you’re sure with your knife skills you can leave the skin on. Spread the beet mixture all over the salmon flesh and cover with cling film so that the wrap coats the sides and top of the salmon as opposed to being pulled tautly across the dish.
Put a smaller dish on top of the covered salmon, and pop something inside to weigh it down. Any old tin or jar will do.
Leave to cure in the fridge for 2 days. When ready, take off the weights and drain off the liquid that has pooled in the bottom dish. Rinse off the beet mixture and marvel at your beautifully stained, cured salmon.
Slice the salmon thinly, about 3mm, going against the grain. Try to slice it with your knife held diagonally, blade end tipped away from you.
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