1 side of salmon (approx 700g) skin on, pin-boned
160g rock salt
50g demerara sugar
40g horseradish – fresh if possible, peeled and finely grated or otherwise jarred is fine
300g raw beetroot, peeled and coarsely grated
50 mls vodka or plain spirits
A large bunch of fresh dill, finely chopped
Place the salmon on a large tray, skin-side down, and spoon the rock salt evenly all over the fish – this will draw the moisture out and make it dense and firm enough to carve. Scatter over the sugar to give some sweetness and then spread the grated horseradish and beets all over the salmon so that the flesh is completely covered. Gently pat it down with your hands (you might want to put on rubber gloves to prevent your hands from getting stained). Drizzle over the schnapps, then sprinkle over all your chopped dill and a few dill flowers if you have them.
Finely grate over the zest of your lemon, cover the tray of salmon tightly with glad wrap. Pop a weight on top to help pack everything down (another tray and a few tin cans usually do the trick), then put it into the fridge for 48 hours.
After 2 days, unwrap the fish and hold the fillet down while you pour away the juices from the tray. Use your hands to push away all the toppings (this can be really messy, so again you might want to wear rubber gloves and push the toppings straight into a plastic bag). Wipe everything off and then pat the fillet dry with kitchen paper.
Skin-side down, starting at the tail end, carefully cut under the fillet with a really long sharp knife, separating the skin from the fillet. With long rocking motions, angle the knife down slightly towards the skin and carve along the length of the fillet to remove the skin. Trim off any brown bits of fish from underneath and then flip it back over. Slice what you need as thinly as you can and arrange on a board or plate for serving. Wrap the rest of the salmon fillet in cling film and it will stay happily in your fridge for 2 weeks.