Pastrami-cured Salmon

Shaun Searley

Shaun Searley

12th November 2019

Pastrami-cured Salmon

720 min

This was inspired by the legendary Russ & Daughters on New York’s Lower East Side.

We were already making pastrami from silverside, a cut from the hindquarters of the cow that we break down in the butchery.

So, this was the obvious next step.

The mineral tang of the cured salmon works brilliantly with the smoky black pepper crust. You’ll need to cure the salmon a couple of days in advance but it will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, and makes the perfect festive starter for a crowd.

Ingredients

Cured salmon

  • 800g salt 150g flat-leaf parsley 800g sugar 1 side (about 2kg) skin-on salmon fillet, pin-boned and trimmed of excess fat 25g black treacle 200g sweet chestnut smoking chips firelighters

Pastrami seasoning

  • 100g coriander seeds 200g black peppercorns

To serve

  • ½ bunch of breakfast radishes 200g crème fraîche handful of watercress parsley oil page 160 salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

Cured salmon

Start by curing the salmon. In a food processor, blend the salt and parsley together, then
mix thoroughly with the sugar to make the cure. Pick a dish that fits the salmon (and also
fits in your fridge!).
Put a large handful of the salt cure in the bottom of the dish, lay the
salmon on top, then cover with the remaining cure. Cover and refrigerate for 48 hours,
turning the salmon after 24 hours.

Pastrami seasoning

To make the pastrami seasoning, preheat the oven to 170°C. Mix the coriander seeds and
peppercorns together and toast in the oven for 4–5 minutes. Allow to cool, then pulse in a food processor to a coarse consistency.
When the salmon is cured, remove from the salt mix and wash away any excess. Pat dry
and place in a roasting tray. Drizzle the black treacle over the salmon and massage into
the flesh, then cover with the pastrami seasoning.

Smoked salmon

To smoke the salmon, line a roasting tray with a couple of layers of foil. Place a pile of
smoking chips and a couple of firelighters into the centre.
Light the firelighters, leave to
smoulder for a few minutes and then carefully transfer to the bottom shelf of the oven,
quickly shutting the door.
Leave for a couple of minutes, then put the tray of salmon on the shelf above. This will get very smoky, so turn that extraction fan up to the max.
Smoke for around 30 minutes. (If you have a kettle barbecue with a lid, do use that
instead). Remove, rest and then chill for at least 6 hours and up to 2 days.

To serve

Just before serving, thinly slice the radishes using a mandoline. Remove the skin from
the salmon and slice into 4mm pieces, or whatever thickness you prefer.
Place 3 slices on each plate, dot around the crème fraîche, then arrange the sliced radishes and watercress on the plate. Drizzle with parsley oil and a final twist of black pepper.

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