Recipe: Gin-cured ocean trout

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Sooo, apparently it was World Gin Day on Saturday and, yep, GRAM, totally forgot about it. No, we didn’t have too many gins, but we did manage to score a delicious little recipe for gin-cured ocean trout from the champions at Tommy Collins. Because what’s better than a beautiful piece of fish? Drunken (not a word) fish. Best to start the night before as curing is 15 hours. You can also sub out the trout if not available and use salmon, but go for trout if you can.

Juniper berries must be the dominant botanical in any gin, but the other bots can be pretty much anything. Don’t be basic and go for the Gordon’s that’s been sitting in the cocktail cabinet since 2013 that Elyse left at your housewarming  (that Elyse is SO basic). Instead, look for more interesting varieties such as Alchemy Distillers’ camomile gin which will subtly infuse and complement the delicate trout flesh.

And make sure you pour yourself a cheeky G&T while you’re curing because, as we always say in the immortal words of L’Oreal, you’re worth it.

Ingredients

  • 400g table salt
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 40g juniper berries, crushed
  • 375 mL gin
  • 1 side of Tasmanian Ocean Trout, skin removed and set aside
  • 300mL canola oil

Method – Curing
Curing time: 15 hours

  • Pat the trout with damp paper towels
  • Remove any protruding pin bones (the bones that stick out of the middle of the fillet) with tweezers
  • Use a ceramic dish wide enough for the fillet to lie flat in. Combine the sugar, salt and sprinkle half on the bottom of the dish with ½ the gin.
  • Place the fillet, flesh side down, into the dish. Cover the fillet with the remaining gin on top of the fish then remaining salt.
  • Cover the fish completely in plastic wrap, very tightly.
  • Weigh it down (without crushing it) with a heavy dish. Place the ceramic dish in the fridge and leave it for 15 hours, turning the fish once.

Method – Crisp Trout Skin

  • Heat oven to 150C
  • Remove the skin from the fillet leaving the skin and fillet intact
  • Put the skin between two pieces of baking paper and then between 2 baking trays and place in oven for 8 min then turn the oven off and leave the skin in the oven for a further hour to dry out
  • Remove trout skin from the oven and allow to cool. The skin should be firm enough to snap
  • Break off small pieces of skin and fry in a wok at 190- 200C the skin will puff up like a prawn cracker, drain well and set aside.

To serve, optional:

  • Assemble on the plate and garnish with micro herbs, edible flowers or crème fraiche.
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