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- 1 very fresh side of wild sea trout (steelhead trout), skinned and pin-boned
- 1 1⁄8 cups sea salt
- 1 1/4 cups superfine sugar
- 2 Tbsp juniper berries, crushed
- 2⁄3 cups Gin
- 7⁄8 cup olive oil
- 2 shallots, peeled and finely sliced
- 4 juniper berries, finely chopped
- Scant 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp Gin
- 2 fennel bulbs, tough outer layer removed
- 3 eating apples, such as Braeburn
- 1 Tbsp finely sliced tarragon
For the cure, put the salt, sugar, and crushed juniper berries into a food processor, and blitz for 3 minutes.
Lay the sea trout on a tray, and sprinkle evenly with the cure mixture. Turn the fish over in the cure a few times to ensure it is coated all over. Drizzle the gin evenly over the fish, then wrap the whole tray in plastic wrap, and place in the fridge to cure for 4 hours.
When the time is up, unwrap the fish and wash off the cure with cold water, then pat dry with paper towels. Wrap the fish tightly in fresh plastic wrap, and place back in the fridge for an hour to firm up. (At this stage you can freeze the fish for up to a month.)
To make the dressing, put the olive oil, shallots, and chopped juniper berries into a small pan over medium heat, until the oil just begins to bubble. Take the pan off the heat, and add the cider vinegar and gin.
Slice the fennel as thinly as possible, using a mandoline if you have one, and place it in a bowl. Peel, core, and grate the apples, then add to the fennel with the tarragon. Toss to combine, and dress the salad with half of the dressing, keeping the rest to finish the dish.
Using a sharp knife and a clean board, slice the trout as thinly as possible and arrange it equally on 4 large plates. Scatter some of the salad over the fish, and drizzle with the remaining dressing; bring to room temperature before serving. Serve the rest of the salad in a bowl on the side.
About this recipe
“Wild sea trout is, for me, a delicacy. I actually prefer it to salmon and find it responds particularly well to curing. Using strong alcohol in the cure helps to achieve a pronounced flavor, and the combination of gin, apple, and fennel works well here. This is a good dish for a party, because it can be prepared in advance, and whipped out of the fridge when you’re ready to serve.” – Nathan Outlaw.
Recipes excerpted with permission from Everyday Seafood by Nathan Outlaw. Photos: David Loftus. Buy Everyday Seafood by Nathan Law at Amazon.