Beetroot Cured Salmon with Potato Cakes

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Serves 8-10
Method: 

This dish has become a staple in my household. Everytime a side of salmon is on offer at the supermarket, it will be waltzed home and cured over the next 24-48 hours. It is so simple to make, with a few variations to tailor to your liking. Blinis are the traditional accompaniment. I find them a bit time consuming to make and the ones in the shops are too small so I rustled up some potato cakes. The only other thing to note is the addition of the sour cream and fish roe. If you can afford Caviar  you probably won't be wasting your time making cured salmon either. For the masses that can't, I have just used the little pot of fish roe you get in the shops. Although the salmon is  salted and delectable on its own, the balance of the alkaline cream with intense fishy saltiness really is a match made in heaven. If you are lucky enough to be hosting a proper brunch or having this as a special occasion you will be wanting to add some wine to the occasion. Check out this article from Fiona Beckett on matching smoked salmon or if you want to delve any further look through this comprehensive list of the top wine people on-line today.

  1. Combine the beetroot, salt and sugar in a processor. Pour over the salmon and add the seeds. You could also add coriander seed, dill, anything so that it adds another subtle dimension to the curing. Put in a container in the fridge, leave for 24 hours. Turn over leave for another 24 hours. You can eat it after 24 hours, the flavours will be there. I have found though by leaving it another 12-24 hours softens the salmon remarkably.
  2. For the potato cakes, mash potatoes and butter together. Add flour, baking soda and seasonsing. Roll out to 5mm thickness. Either cut into squares or use a round cutter. Heat a pan with a touch of oil, and cook either side for a couple of minutes. It will create a very thin crust on the cake and leave the inside like mashed potato but airy due to the baking soda.
  3. Once the salmon is ready, wash well in cold running water. Slice off the end bits to try, if you think its too salty, wash again under cold water. To slice the salmon, get as long and sharp a knife as you can. A carving knife is ideal. Slice the side at angle so that you create more surface area per slice. About 3mm thick is what you are looking for. Or just do the best you can.
  4. Serve with the cakes and sour cream.
Ingredients: 
  • One side of salmon-about 1kg
  • 250g Beetroot. Vacuum packed,non vinegared.
  • 125g Salt
  • 125g Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Fennel Seeds.
  • 350g Cooked Floury potatoes( Maris Piper or King Edwards)
  • 50g Butter
  • 70g Plain Flour
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • Sour Cream
  • 2 Tsp Fish Roe