The Best Dish of the Year

It’s been a long week of celebration and good food; too much good food. On  Christmas Eve we indulged in the traditional Swedish meal of Julbord (literally, Christmas table) and a few days later I knocked up a traditional English Christmas lunch of roast turkey, roast potatoes, sausages in bacon, gravy, bread and cranberry sauces, roasted veggies and a brandy-flamed Christmas pudding to finish.

In between we have polished off a five-hour slow cooked chili, a good lump of ox cheek, several pork pies, a few kilos of Cumberland sausages, a dozen pickled onions and much more beside.

I dined with the in-laws, my parents came from England, telephone calls, SMS’, Facebook messages and other greetings were exchanged. And altogether we knocked back a fair few bottles of wine and port.

And through the haze of it all, on the last day of the year, one dish stands out against all of them: my homemade gravlax with mustard sauce. It was delicious. We had it as a starter with our turkey. And we shall have the rest tonight before our herb-roasted fillet of veal.

For those of you who don’t know, gravlax is fresh salmon, cured with sugar, salt and dill. It’s a lovely dish. The salmon is most often sliced paper-thin and served with a classic, light mustard and dill sauce. And very good it is, too.

Highlight of the year

The gravlax I prepared in the week, I did a little differently; using a loin of fresh salmon I thickly sliced it when marinated and served it with a rich, dark, almost fruity mustard sauce; an absolute winner, and one of the best dishes I have eaten this year.

A belated Merry Christmas to you all, and a happy and successful 2013.



Gravlax with Mustard Sauce

4 portions


  • 800g back loin of fresh salmon
  • 2 tbsp. salt
  • 2 ½ tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. crushed white peppercorns
  • 1 handful of fresh dill


  • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp. HP sauce
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil


Chop the stalks and half of the fonds of the dill (reserving the rest for garnish)

Mix the dill with the sugar, salt and white pepper

Knead the mix into the salmon, coating the entire outside surface

Wrap it tightly in a double layer of cling film and leave in the fridge for 48 hours


To make the sauce, whisk together the sugar and vinegar, then add the mustard and HP sauce

Add the oil a little at a time, whisking as you do

Leave in the fridge overnight


To serve, unwrap the salmon and brush away the excess dill mix. Brush the salmon with the mustard sauce and slice it in thick slices

Serve the mustard sauce on the side

  • Monica-USA

    Happy New Year to you and your family Rob. Sounds like you had a lot of good food to start off your Holidays. The Gravlax looks good. :o )

  • Janerowena

    It sounds and looks delicious. Happy New Year to you and yours, too. I think we shall be living on soups and salads for a few days here! We went to an auction and bought a 20lb goose for Christmas Day. I am now thinking of all the things I can do with the fat but am really too full to want to eat.

  • Gerry

    WE loved it all. Rob forgot to mention that I lugged a dozen crackers from England :the table settings [ Pia] were beautiful. The memorable moment for me was when a Deer ran through the snow ,just outside the window as we were enjoying our feast.

  • Janerowena

    Rob, are you going to have a new swenglish food blog elsewhere?

  • Monica-USA

    Rob, sorry to hear the blogs will be ending so on that note I wanted to say thank you for sharing your recipes and family stories. Good luck with your Summer garden I hope you will try again and good luck on your future endeavors. It has been wonderful cooking with you.

  • personal trainer Highgate

    I am so happy to read this recipe but feeling bad that i am so late to read it. All ingredients are superb. Thanks for the lovely post. I will try this recipe soon.

  • Daniel Sandström

    Thank you for a great recipe. Wifey loved it!