Beetroot-cured Salmon

We had some left over canned beetroot in the fridge so I decided to try curing some salmon with it. I diced the beetroot and mixed it with sugar and salt, pressed it all over the salmon and wrapped it in a few sheets of Glad Wrap. I was being lazy and couldn’t be bothered calculating the proper proportions of sugar and salt to weight of fish, so I fudged the quantities. After leaving it in the fridge for 2 days I thought I’d cook it two ways, since there was so much of it. I also didn’t know how fresh the salmon was and wasn’t game enough to eat it raw (I did try a thin slice from the centre out of curiosity and it was pretty good). Unfortunately I forgot about the pan sitting on the stove, so my salt crust turned into an ash crust and I ended up having to peel it off. I tried to convince myself that it was also a bit black because of the beetroot colouring. Some diced beetroot was fried in the pan, but that also got a bit burnt. I actually liked the charred/burnt flavour, which may have come about because of the sugar content of the beetroot, though I’m not sure how healthy it was to consume. Thankfully the salmon wasn’t overcooked. It was actually slightly under so I cooked it a further 1 minute on each side – next time I’d like to try cooking a fillet that size for 4 minutes on the skin side then 2 on the other. The same couldn’t quite be said for my baked version, which I cooked at 230C for 11 minutes. I was supposed to take it out at 8 minutes but I forgot about that too. It was OK when I took it out of the oven, but the residual heat pushed it over. On the whole, the experiment turned out much, much better than expected, particularly the pan-fried one, which is probably one of the nicest things I’ve made so far.

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