“Curing your own fish is seriously easy, and something you can prep in advance. This spiced version adds a real festive vibe – and guys, if you have enough rum, do use it to rinse off your cure, as it gives the flavour extra depth. This makes a great brunch with some gorgeous bread. ”
Start curing your salmon three days before. To make the spice cure, zest the orange, trim the chilli and peel the shallot. Blitz the orange zest, allspice, cinnamon, chilli, treacle and shallot in a food processor until you have a smooth paste.
Transfer this to a bowl and stir in the rock salt and sugar. Pour in the 2 tablespoons of rum and mix well.
Lay a large double layer of greaseproof paper over a baking tray and place the salmon on it, skin-side down. Slowly pour over the spice cure and use a spatula to spread it all over the salmon.
Wrap the fish in both layers of the paper, then tightly in clingfilm. Place in the fridge with something heavy on top to weigh it down, then leave for 48 hours.
When the time is up, take the salmon out of the fridge and carefully unwrap it. Rinse off the cure with the 50ml of rum (or you can use cold water), holding the salmon over a baking tray and pouring over a splash at a time. Use a spoon to gently push the cure off the fish. It should have shared its wonderful flavours with the salmon and turned it a dark brownish pink.
For the herb cure, pick and finely chop all the herbs and mix together in a bowl.
Clean the baking tray and cover with two layers of paper as before, then place the salmon on it, skin-side down. Using your hands, pack the herby cure onto the fish, covering all of the flesh – you don’t want air getting in.
As before, wrap it with the two layers of greaseproof paper, then a tight layer of clingfilm. Pop it back in the fridge with weights on top and leave for another 24 hours.
The next day, your salmon will be perfectly cured and ready to eat. You don’t need to rinse off that second cure – simply slice the salmon diagonally, as thinly as you like, then serve with pickled carrots, chillies, and buttered slices of bread.