My little German kitchen no. 2: Homemade graved trout


wholy troutFirst of all I want to apologize to all of you who received a naughty Spam email from my blog on Saturday morning – I guess I just can’t use the same password on all my 15 different email accounts, it was clear that would fight back one day. So, please rest assured it shall not happen again – the DAHEIM blog is now bullet and spam-proof (fingers crossed)!

And now back to something far more interesting – Homemade graved trout.

If smoked salmon gets too expensive as you are cooking for a large group of people or you are looking for something a bit less fishy and a bit more delicate and special – the trout is your man/fish!

Make sure you get the trout really fresh from a fish monger, ideally caught in the morning. I got mine from Jim, a very friendly fish monger from Grimsby who delivered to my work. (which was convenient, but sadly I had to take the Central line from Holland Park all the way home to Bethnal Green carrying 3 Kgs of fish on my lap) Ask your fish monger to de-bone and fillet the fish for you as this would take forever.

This is what you need for 8 portions:

-4 trouts, one fillet (half a trout) per person is plenty

-10 teaspoons salt

-2 teaspoon sugar

– add finely grated lemon rind of one lemon

– ten turns of fresh black pepper

-3 bunches of fresh dill and 3 bunches of fresh parsley

Grind all the ingredients in a mortar and slather them onto both sides of the fillet. Make sure the whole fish is covered- especially with the salt as this is what forces all the water out of your fish and will cure it.

Then wrap the fillets really tightly into some cling film and lay them into your fridge vegetable draw. Once the are all packed in, put a cutting board/book/wooden board on top and find something heavy like bricks or books again to use as weights on top. Now put it all into the fridge and wait….after a few hours you will see how your fridge draw fills with water. Now you know it’s working- it’s really exciting to watch the water being forced out, a little bit like a chemistry lessons in school- but better, as you can eat it after!

Now you will have to empty the water out of your fridge draw every morning and evening- taking the fillets out, patting them dry and turning them over- then all the weights on top again….it is a bit time-consuming, but so worth it! Do this for 3 days and you will see how the colour of the fillets turns dark pink.

On the morning of day 3 or even better day 5 you can unpack one of your fillets and brush off the remaining paste-try a little shaving, if you have done everything right, it will taste delicately sweet and fresh!

The graved trout was the big hero at our pop-up cafe and we served it with sauerkraut, homemade potato pancakes (Reiberdatschi) and some horse-radish crème fraîche…but you will love it just as much with just a spritz of lemon and some dill on a toasted bread with Philadelphia! I promise!



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