Homemade gravlox is easy. You don’t need any special ingredients. You will, however, need a perforated pan or something similar for the curing process with a pan underneath. This is important for catching the moisture that drains from the salmon during the curing process. A rack that sits inside a pan will do fine but it needs some height so that the salmon doesn’t touch any of the liquid that is draw from it. The salmon takes a few days to cure, so you need to plan ahead, but the prep is fairly effortless once you are familiar with the process. It’s very satisfying to cure your own food. Give it a try!
Place 1 lb. salmon, skin-on, on a perforated pan that fits in another (non-perforated) pan beneath it. The bottom pan is used to catch liquid from the curing salmon. Underneath the salmon, place a piece of cheesecloth long enough to later wrap over top of salmon. I like to use sockeye salmon but any type will do. Drizzle the salmon lightly with lemon juice and an orange liquor, such as Patron Citronge, or you can even use rum depending on what you have on-hand. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 C. salt with 2 T. sugar and a small palmful of crushed peppercorns. Completely coat salmon with the salt mixture, including the sides of the salmon. It may seem like a lot of salt mixture for the salmon, but that’s okay. Add about 1/4 C. of coarsely chopped dill on top. Wrap the cheesecloth over top of the salmon and place another pan on top of the salmon with a weight inside of it (yes, that’s a total of three pans). Place in the refrigerator for 3 days. Remove salmon from wrapping and rinse under cold water to wash away all salt, pepper, and herbs. Cut away the fish skin and slice the salmon thinly on the bias to serve.