RecipeTin Eats x Good Food: Beetroot-cured salmon with horseradish cream

Beetroot cured salmon served with horseradish cream, rye bread and cucumber ribbons.
Beetroot cured salmon served with horseradish cream, rye bread and cucumber ribbons. Photo: William Meppem
Dietary
Gluten-free

This a great bang-for-buck recipe because it receives high levels of praise and it's so simple to make. Home-cured salmon costs a fraction of store-bought, and it looks so festive.

Ingredients

1kg single piece of fresh sashimi-grade salmon, skin on (look for even thickness)

Beetroot cure

400g beetroot (raw), peeled and diced in 1cm cubes

1 cup cooking salt (see note)

⅔ cup white sugar

5½ tbsp vodka (or water)

4 tsp caraway seeds

4 tsp white peppercorns

4 tsp coriander seeds

Horseradish cream

1 cup sour cream

3 tbsp fresh horseradish, finely grated (or 2 tbsp paste)

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp lemon zest

1 tsp chopped dill

Method

48 hours ahead

To cure the salmon, blitz the vodka cure ingredients in a food processor until it has the texture of a smoothie.

Line a glass or ceramic dish with two pieces of cling wrap large enough to wrap salmon completely. Spread beetroot mixture on cling-wrap base then place flesh side down. Wrap tightly in cling film and refrigerate for 48 hours. Do not turn.

24 hours ahead

After 48 hours, unwrap salmon, rinse off beetroot mixture, then pat dry. Rest overnight in the fridge.

Horseradish cream

Mix ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth. Store in the fridge.

Christmas Day

Place uncut salmon on a serving platter you can cut on. Scatter salmon with fresh dill and fried capers. Place rye bread (that has been brushed with olive oil and baked in the oven) and horseradish cream on the side, along with fresh lemon if using.

To serve, cut thin slices down to the skin but not through it. Pivot the knife blade so it's almost parallel to the skin and cut each slice carefully away from the skin (you cannot eat the skin). Smear crisp bread with horseradish cream, top with salmon and fresh dill.

Recipe notes

For best results, cure the salmon three days before serving (48 hours for curing, then resting overnight).

You must use cooking salt for this recipe. Don't use iodised or table salt; the grains are too fine and it makes the salmon way too salty.

A side of cucumber matches nicely with the salmon. Use a potato peeler to make long thin ribbons then toss with vinegar and salt in a bowl and set aside for 10 minutes. Drain liquid, toss with dill and transfer to a serving dish.

This recipe features in RecipeTin Eats' make-ahead Christmas menu