For the perfect meal, try making Gin-Cured Ocean Trout With Herb Crust from the ‘Lunch By The Sea’ recipes in Gourmet Traveller’s new recipe book Menu.
Lightly curing the fish before roasting adds another dimension of flavour and texture.
You can extend the curing time by up to a week and serve it in the same manner as gravlax. Begin this recipe at least a day ahead to cure the trout.
Prep time: 45 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
(plus curing, cooling, chilling)
- 200g caster sugar
- 140g sea salt
- 120ml gin
- 40g finely grated fresh horseradish (or shop-bought)
- 1 cup (loosely packed) dill,
- 2 sides skinless ocean trout (1.2kg
each), pin-bones removed
- 30ml olive oil
- 2 tbsp each finely chopped mint, flat-leaf parsley and chervil
- Finely grated rind of 2 lemons
- Lemon wedges, to serve
- Cucumber pickle
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 160ml white wine vinegar
- 80ml dry white wine
- 60g caster sugar
- 2 Lebanese cucumbers, thinly sliced on a mandolin
- 2 golden shallots, thinly sliced
1. Combine sugar, salt, gin, horseradish and dill, reserving 2 tbsp dill to serve, in a bowl with plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Spread half the curing mixture in base of a non-reactive dish (see cook’s notes p279) and place trout on top. Spread remaining mixture on top of trout, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to cure.
2. Meanwhile, for cucumber pickle, dry-roast fennel seeds until fragrant (1 minute; see cook’s notes p279), then crush using a mortar and pestle and return to pan. Add vinegar, wine, sugar and 100ml water, season to taste and bring to the boil, then cool to room temperature. Combine cucumber and shallot in a non-reactive container, pour in pickling liquid in and refrigerate until chilled and lightly pickled (1-1½ hours).
3. Preheat oven to 200C. Brush curing mixture from trout and pat dry with paper towels. Place in a roasting pan lined with baking paper and drizzle with oil. Roast until just golden and cooked to your liking (4-6 minutes for medium-rare).
4. Meanwhile, combine mint, parsley, chervil, lemon rind and reserved dill in a bowl and season to taste. Scatter mixture over trout and serve warm with cucumber pickle and lemon wedges.
Wine suggestions sparkling rosé or Champagne.