I remember reading somewhere a long time ago that the Scandinavians have Gravadlax on Christmas morning. I don’t even know whether that’s true or not, but it stuck with me and ever since it’s become a staple on my Christmas day menu. Paired with simple crisp bread and a dill and mustard sauce, this makes the perfect companion for that sneaky first glass of bubbly.
2 x 400g side of salmon
75g golden caster sugar
50g coarse sea salt
1tbsp mixed peppercorns
8 juniper berries
60g fresh dill, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
For the mustard sauce:
3tbs Dijon mustard
3tbsp cider vinegar
3tbs vegetable oil
40g fresh dill, finely chopped
Start by crushing the peppercorns and juniper berries in a pestle and mortar then add the salt and crush some more.
Now add the sugar and mix all together then lay out the first side of salmon (skin side down) on a large piece of clingfilm LEFT ON THE ROLL.
Top with half of the chopped dill then add the lemon zest on top of the dill.
Now add the pepper/salt/sugar mix on top then place the second half of the chopped dill on top.
Now put the second side of salmon on top of everything else, skin side up then wrap the whole thing tightly in clingfilm.
Place the wrapped up salmon between two plates and weigh it down with any heavy object you can find. Chill for at least 48 hours (the longer, the better the flavours), turning it every 12 hours.
To make the mustard sauce combine the mustard, honey and vinegar and whisk together.
Add the oil and whisk until combined, now add the chopped dill and stir in.
Serve sliced up with crisp bread.