hot smoked cured salmon

  • 1 x 1.2kg (1 lb 6 oz) salmon fillet, skin removed and pin-boned
  • 1 x 18cm x 50cm (7 inch x 19½ inch) cedar grilling plank, soaked in water+
  • 12 sprigs dill 
  • ½ cup (180g/6¼ oz) honey
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • cracked black pepper

curing mix

  • ¾ cup (255g/9 oz) sea salt flakes
  • 1 cup (225g/8 oz) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chilli flakes

Horseradish crème fraÎche

  • 300ml (10 oz) crème fraîche
  • 1½ tablespoons horseradish
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1½ tablespoons salted capers, rinsed and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
  1. To make the curing mix, combine the salt, sugar and chilli in a bowl. Place one-third of the mix onto a large glass dish. Place salmon on top and top with remaining curing mix. Refrigerate for 3–4 hours to cure++. Rinse the salmon to remove the curing mix. Pat dry with kitchen paper. Transfer to a wire rack on a large tray and refrigerate uncovered for 1 hour, or as long as overnight, until salmon is completely dry. 
  2. Heat a barbecue grill to medium-high heat. Place dill sprigs down the length of the grilling plank. Top with the dried cured salmon. Combine honey, chilli and pepper in a small bowl. Brush honey mixture over the salmon. Place the plank with the salmon on the barbecue grill and cook, with lid closed, checking constantly and spritzing plank (not salmon) with water if it catches alight+++ for 20 minutes or until salmon is medium rare and golden brown. 
  3. Meanwhile, to make the horseradish crème fraîche, combine crème fraîche, horseradish, parsley, capers and lemon rind in a serving bowl and set aside. 
  4. Bring the salmon to the table on the plank (ensure the plank is no longer smoldering and has no embers), or transfer to a serving platter. Serve with the horseradish crème fraîche. Serves 8

+ You can find cedar grilling planks from hardware stores and barbecue suppliers. Soak for at least 1 hour before using.

++ Cured, unsmoked salmon can keep, uncovered, in the fridge for up to 2 days.

+++ You will need to have a spray bottle filled with water handy to put out any flare ups on the plank – you want the plank to smoke but without any flames. 

Photography: William Meppem

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