Beetroot and cabbage cured trout with nettles, crème fraiche and rye crackers
We like this one. The ingredients come from round the tent, Bibury trout farm nearby, Shipton mill, Cotteswold dairy, an allotment and some stinging nettles of which we need to take revenge! Gravadlax has always been a firm favourite, sweet, salty and can take on many flavours, textures and works well with the river trout that lacks a bit in taste.
4 sides brown river trout (500g)
100g brown sugar
4 juniper berries
50 ml gin
200g red cabbage
2 handfuls nettles
250g wholemeal flour
50g pumpkin seeds
In a food processor blend the salt, sugar, juniper, peppercorns, gin, beetroot and red cabbage and blend into a paste. In a tray or in a few layers of clingfilm lay the trout skin side down and smother with the paste and pop the other sides skin side down and pat down with the cling film or wrap firmly! Leave for a couple of days giving it a move around every 12 hours checking the firmness depending on the thickness of the fish, it should be firm to the touch without a wobble. Rinse off the salt mix with cold running water and pat dry with a dry towel. Wash and dry the nettles (saving a few for deep frying) and chop fine by hand if you dare or in a blender, Pat the nettles down onto the skin side of the Gravadlax and weigh a tray down on top.
Whack all the dry ingredients for the rye crackers into a mixer with the dough hook attachment, mix the egg and milk separately and add to the mixer slowly to form a dough after about 6 to 7 minutes of kneading. Remove from the mixing bowl, clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 mins. Begin to roll out in a pasta brake in long strips and cut in your desired shape, the larger the better we find. Bake on large baking sheets with parchment at 150c, egg wash and you can even blanch herbs onto each cracker and paint them on. The crackers should come out golden and crisp.
Slice the Gravadlax with a long thin carving knife and serve with some allotment leaves, crème fraiche or sweet dill and mustard (page ***) and of course some of the lovely crackers.