During the middle Ages, gravlax was made by fishermen, who salted the salmon and lightly fermented it by burying it in the sand above the high-tide line.
Fermentation is no longer used in the production process. Instead the salmon is "covered" in a dry marinade of salt, sugar, and dill, and cured from twelve to 48 hours.
1 salmon fillet, 500 grams course sea salt, 500 grams cane sugar, 40 grams crushed black peppercorns
5 centilitres Calvados (or cognac, vodka), 1 bunch of fresh dill, 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 egg yolks, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp honey, 20 centilitres vegetable oil, 3 tbsp crème fraiche, 5 sprigs fresh coriander (cilantro), 1 tbsp lemon zest, ¼ bunch of chive, 1 tsp cognac, sea salt and black pepper
Let’s get started!
Fill your sink with cold water and Scale the salmon fillet (from tale to head direction)
Use some paper towel to dry the fillet
Use a pliers or tweezers to remove the remaining fish bones.
Take a bowl and mix the salt, sugar and crushed peppercorns.
Cover your kitchen worktop with plastic wrap and add a first layer of the salt mix.
Place the salmon fillet on top, skin side down (on the salt).
Take a brush and coat the fillet (top side) with Calvados (but you can also use cognac or vodka).
Add the sprigs of dill and rosemary on the top and cover totally with the rest of the salt mix.
Wrap the fillet completely and place in your refrigerator (skin side down) for at least 12 hours, I prefer to cure my salmon for 18 or 24 hours, it depends on the weight and size of the fillet.
The longer the salmon cures the saltier and dryer it becomes; it’s all a question of taste.
After the curing, discard the salt and herbs.
Clean the fillet under cold running water and dry with paper towel.
Cover the salmon with a clean cloth and reserve in the refrigerator for a few hours.
In the meantime where going to prepare the white sauce!
Grate the zest of one lemon; chop the cilantro and chive finely.
Add two egg yolks in a bowl with a teaspoon of mustard.
Whisk and add little by little the oil like you do to make a mayonnaise.
Now add all the other ingredients (honey, crème fraiche, cilantro, chive, lemon zest, cognac) and salt & pepper to taste.
Take a sharp knife and slice the salmon diagonal to the head side (against the grain)
Serve with rye bread, butter, sliced shallots and the white sauce of course!
Gravadlax can be kept for one week in the fridge but do not freeze.