- 1 side wild king salmon (about 4 to 5 pounds)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons black lemon powder (found in Middle Eastern markets), or zest of 2 fresh lemons
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dried tarragon
- 1/2 cup chopped fennel fronds (or 2 tablespoons fennel pollen)
- 3 ounces Uncle Val's or other botanical gin
Remove and discard any pin bones from the salmon.
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the cranberries until they are chopped but not pureed.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, salt, and spices.
Line a shallow roasting pan or rimmed sheet pan with plastic wrap, ensuring that there is plenty of extra wrap on either side. Spread half of the sugar and spice mix on the plastic wrap. Place the salmon skin side down on top of the spice mixture in the pan. Mix the cranberries into the remaining half of the mixture and rub it on top of the salmon, ensuring that it is covering the whole surface of the fish. Combine the cranberry juice and gin and carefully drizzle over the surface of the fish, being sure not to wash away the cure. Fold the excess wrap back over the top of the salmon, covering it completely and tucking any loose ends on top. Place a sheet pan on top of the fish and weigh it down with a few plates for even pressure on top of the fish and refrigerate for three days.
When the fish feels firm to the touch, rinse or wipe off the fillet. Thinly slice the salmon on a bias. Serve with crème fraiche and pumpernickel toast.
Brought to you by Chef Evan Mallett from The Cranberry Chef Collective