This is an extremely easy recipe and very impressive. You can skip the black pepper if you like and use chopped herbs instead: Dill, Italian flat leaf parsley, chives, tarragon, etc. I love this dish on an hors d’oeuvre buffet. Put all of the condiments in individual containers and watch your guests dig in and enjoy. Don’t let the cure sit on the fish for more than 36 hours. It tends to get leathery after that amount of time.
1 3 to 4 LB Side of Salmon Skin On, Pin Bones Removed
½ Cup Butcher’s Grind Black Pepper (VERY Coarse)
2 Cups Granulated Sugar
1 Cup Coarse Sea Salt
In a mixing bowl, combine the salt and sugar. Place the salmon, skin side down, on a large sheet of foil wrap topped with a large sheet of parchment paper. Cover the entire salmon with black pepper spreading it evenly. Top with the salt and sugar mixture packing the cure into the salmon. Wrap the salmon completely and tightly in the foil-parchment and place the salmon, skin side down in a pan large enough to hold the salmon laying flat. Place a skillet with several heavy cans as weights on top of the salmon package. This will help infuse the salmon into the mixture.
Refrigerate the salmon for 36 hours. Remove the salmon from the refrigerator and wipe off all of the salt mixture and most of the pepper. This will be easy as the salt comes off in chunks. Using a sharp knife, slice the salmon diagonally in paper-thin cuts. Serve the Gravlox with toasted pumpernickel bread, chopped red onion, diced hard-boiled egg, Cornichons, Mustard Sauce and Dill Creme Fraiche