This recipe uses the classic Scandinavian salt-and-sugar cure infused with the peppery, wild, citrusy flavours of the outback. At Christmas, it would make a great alternative to the usual festive fare. Serve with my native pepper pikelets (link below).
700g skin-on ocean trout or salmon fillet, pin-boned
75g sea salt
75g castor sugar
1 tbsp wattleseed, roasted
1 tsp bush tomatoes, ground
1 tbsp lemon myrtle, ground
1 tbsp native pepperberries, crushed
20 native pepperberry leaves
2 tbsp gin or vodka
150g sour cream for serving
150g pickled beetroot, drained
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and pepper
1. Combine the sea salt, sugar, wattleseed, bush tomatoes, lemon myrtle, pepperberries, pepperberry leaves and gin in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
2. Place a handful of this curing mixture in a porcelain or glass dish, arrange the salmon skin-side down on top, and cover the salmon with the rest of the curing mixture. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 24 hours.
3. Gently turn the fish, spoon the brine over the top, cover and refrigerate for a further 12 to 24 hours. Remove the fish and pat dry.
4. To make the beetroot relish, whiz the beetroot with olive oil, sea salt and pepper in a mini-food processor until smooth. Finely slice the salmon on an extreme diagonal, using the full length of the knife blade, and arrange on a board. Scatter with a few extra pepperberries and leaves, and serve with native pepper pikelets, sour cream and beetroot relish.
Serve with: Native pepper and beer pikelets.
Wattleseed and native pepperberries and leaves are available online and in good food stores (such as Outback Spirit), or substitute with a teaspoon of ground black pepper and one teaspoon of cumin.