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.
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
- 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