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Gravadlax with marinated cucumber and dill mustard dressing

Made at J Sheekey | Serves Serves 6-8

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This Scandinavian specialty was historically wrapped in bark and buried as a means for salmon fishermen to preserve their catch. If you cannot find Swedish mustard – it’s sweeter and without the kick most other mustards have – use French’s American mustard or stick to Dijon.

1kg side of salmon, skin on, trimmed and pin-bones removed
85g soft light brown sugar
65g fine salt
½ tsp ground white pepper
1 lime, grated
75g Swedish mustard
75g dill, chopped

For the fish
Lay the salmon fillet on a piece of Clingfilm large enough to wrap back over the fish. Mix sugar, salt, pepper and lime zest together in a bowl, cover the fish with the mixture and leave uncovered at room temperature for 45 minutes. Wrap and seal the fish in Clingfilm, place on a tray and refrigerate.

After 36 hours, unwrap the salmon and discard any juices. Lightly wash it in cold water and dab dry with kitchen roll. Put it onto a fresh piece of Clingfilm. Sprinkle half the dill onto the salmon, spread with mustard, and finally, the rest of the dill. Again wrap tightly and store in the fridge. Best to leave for at least a day before using. It should last for up to a week.

Dill mustard dressing
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp Swedish mustard or use Dijon and treble the sugar
2 tsp soft brown sugar
6 tbsp sunflower oil
4 sprigs of dill, finely chopped

Whisk together the two mustards and sugar. Slowly add the oil, adjusting with a little warm water if the mixture becomes too thick. Add the dill and season to taste.

For the marinated cucumber
1 medium cucumber, halved lengthwise and deseeded
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tsp mustard seeds
4 tsp caster sugar
4 sprigs of dill, finely chopped
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, to serve
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Slice the cucumbers thinly at an angle and place into a bowl. Meanwhile, in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the vinegar, shallots, mustard seeds, sugar, salt and pepper to the boil. Remove from the heat and leave to cool a little. Pour over the cucumbers and leave at room temperature for an hour, stirring occasionally. When ready to serve, drain off the liquid and mix the olive oil and dill into the drained cucumbers. Season.

To assemble the dish, remove the salmon from the Clingfilm and with a long sharp carving knife cut slices about ½cm thick at a 20° angle, turning the knife when you get to the skin. Place 4 slices per person (more if you like) onto a plate, adding a spoonful of the dill sauce and marinated cucumber to the side.

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