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Brown-Sugar Gravlax

This recipe can be halved or quartered to cure a smaller amount of fish. Plan ahead; gravlax takes 3 days to cure.

  • yield: Makes about 6 pounds
Photography: MARIA ROBLEDO

Ingredients

  • 1 pound coarse salt
  • 1 pound packed dark-brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole white peppercorns, cracked
  • 2 bunches fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1/4 cup whiskey, preferably Jack Daniel's
  • 2 sides of salmon (3 pounds each), cleaned and skin on

Directions

  1. Step 1

    In a medium bowl, combine the salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, and dill to make the dry cure. In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, oil, brandy, and whiskey; stir.

  2. Step 2

    Lay salmon, skin-sides down, on a clean, dry surface. Brush liquid mixture generously over fish. Pack dry cure evenly over fillets; wrap tightly with two layers of plastic wrap.

  3. Step 3

    Place one piece of fish, skin-side down, in a pan large enough to accommodate the fish. Place the other piece of fish, skin-side up, on top of the first. Place a cutting board on top of the fish, and weigh down board with soup cans or bricks. Chill 24 hours.

  4. Step 4

    Remove weights, unwrap fish, and drain liquid. Wrap fish again tightly in two fresh layers of plastic, reversing position of top and bottom pieces. Place weights on top; return to refrigerator. Chill 24 hours more.

  5. Step 5

    Repeat step four.

  6. Step 6

    Unwrap the salmon, and scrape off the dry cure. Slice the salmon on the bias as thinly as possible, and serve. The gravlax can be stored, wrapped in plastic, in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, February 1999

Reviews (2)

  • 15 Jan, 2008

    Has anyone tried this? It sounds really good, maybe next summer when the fish are runniing I'll try it but I was just wondreing if it is pretty salty?

  • 15 Jan, 2008

    Has anyone tried this? It sounds really good, maybe next summer when the fish are runniing I'll try it but I was just wondreing if it is pretty salty?