Saturday, 14 January 2012

Cured Salmon with Austrian Potato Salad

Vienna is great and so is its potato salad, but I have never eaten gravadlax (cured salmon) there - and I'm not even sure the Viennese are aware how good gravadlax tastes with their potato salad.

The thing is, I ate gravadlax in a restaurant in London and it came with a fabulous dressing, which tasted exactly like the dressing on an Austrian potato salad. Eureka! Put them together and you'll have a delicious combination of flavours and a substantial meal. Potato salad goes better with fish than a pork schnitzel (the traditional Austrian accompaniment to potato salad) , and salmon goes better with potatoes than a green salad (the traditional English accompaniment to salmon), anyway.

Buy salmon fillet from a reputable supermarket or fishmonger and look for firm flesh and a nice marbling of white fat. The curing will take care of any health concerns you may have about eating uncooked fish.

Cost? Normally well under the £3 mark, but today I bought salmon at a steal at £6.49 per kilo, and so today the unbelievable cost per serving of this luxurious dish (including the potato salad) was £2.

Serve with a simple tomato and spring onion salad, a pickled gherkin and crispbreads for an authentic Austrian/Scandinavian fusion feast.

Serves 4

Cured Salmon


800g salmon fillet
50g sugar
50g salt

Mix the salt and sugar together in a bowl, and using your hands, rub into the salmon fillet on all sides. Sprinkle half of the remaining salt/sugar cure onto a sheet of clingfilm and place the salmon onto it. Sprinkle the remaing cure on top of the salmon and then wrap the salmon tightly in two layers of clingfilm and place into a shallow dish. Put the dish in the fridge for 2-3 days, or until the salmon has darkened in colour and firmed-up. Unwrap the salmon, discarding any brine which may have collected in the dish. Lightly rinse the salmon in cold water to get rid of any excess surface cure. Serve 200g of cured salmon per person, in one delicious slab each.


Austrian Potato Salad


800g peeled waxy potatoes, such as Charlotte or Desiree
8 tablespoons of mayonnaise
1 tablespoon of mustard
1.5 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup
Handful of fresh dill, finely chopped, with a pinch reserved for sprinkling
Pinches of salt and pepper

Boil the potatos and slice into 1cm discs. When still warm, mix the other ingredients together into a dressing and add them to the potato discs. Fold the dressing gently into the potatoes and finish with a light sprinkling on top of the reserved dill. Serve at room temperature.

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