03 Dec Beetroot and Gin Cured Trout
These slithers of beautifully hand sliced beetroot gin cured trout can be used in place of the usual smoked salmon to adorn your plate, the jewel in the crown for anything from a light snack to the most regal of eggs royale. There are so many options that once you’ve cured your first piece, you will always want some hiding in the fridge.
The deep purple colour comes from the addition of beetroot with the gin and all the botanicals that go with it creating an amazingly crisp and well rounded flavour with hints of citrus and juniper to boot.
This recipe calls for two cures, the first being what you might expect – salt, sugar and alcohol (in this case gin). The salt draws the moisture from the fish, firming it up, whilst the sugar, gin and other ingredients add extra flavour and further help with the preservation. The second cure adds a final flourish of zest by using fresh herbs, lemon grass and horseradish to really freshen up the finished product.
This recipe is super easy, with no more than 10 minutes of preparation for each step. It’s just a bit of a waiting game, but I assure you it will be worth it in the end. It’s a great get ahead recipe as there’s no choice but to start curing your trout two days in advance and perfect for anytime of the year.
You can also cure the trout with golden beetroot, which gives a much more delicate flavour in comparison to its deep purple and earthy brethren. When sourcing your trout, we’d always encourage you to source as local and sustainably caught fish as you can. If you’re local to Surrey, we source ours from Tillingbourne Trout Farm in Abinger Hammer. They’ve got a farm shop with a range of fresh and frozen fish, home-smoked fish and locally sourced game.
We’d recommend serving your beetroot gin cured trout with your eggs royale, along with your beetroot leaves sautéed in butter. Or, why not serve the trout with homemade crackers and a mustard and dill sauce. If you’re keen on trying our other trout recipes, we’ve also got a home smoked trout recipe including a how-to guide on making your own smoker out of an old ammunition box.
The First Cure
2 100-150g trout fillets
2 medium sized beetroots (reserve the leafy tops to sauté in butter with your cured trout eggs royale!)
2 juniper berries
Zest of 1 orange
Zest of 1 lemon
4 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
30 ml gin
- Firstly, make sure to check that all of the pin bones running down the centre of the fillets have been removed.
- Peel and roughly chop the beets. Add to a food processor along with the juniper berries, orange zest, lemon zest and sugar. Blitz to a rough paste.
- Add the salt and gin and stir through the cure mix.
- Lay the trout fillets skin side down onto some cling film and spread the cure over each piece.
- Sandwich the fillets together and wrap tightly in cling film.
- Place on a plate and weigh it down with a tin of beans or two, or a casserole dish, to apply a gentle pressure. Place in the fridge over night. You’re halfway there to your beetroot gin cured trout!
The Second Cure
A good handful of soft herbs (chervil, dill, chives, tarragon)
The soft tips of a stem of lemongrass, finely sliced
2 tbsp finely grated horseradish
30 ml of gin
- Finely chop your chosen herbs and mix with the lemon grass, horseradish and gin.
- Remove the trout from the fridge and gently wipe the first cure from it using some kitchen towel, you can throw the first cure ingredients away.
- Spoon over the second cure, wrap tightly in cling film and place back in the fridge.
- The following day your beetroot and gin cured trout should be beautifully cured. Unwrap the fillets and slice as finely as you can at an angle so that you have nice wide slices.
Photography by Simon Weller.