Gordon Castle head chef James Mackie gives his take on the ideal breakfast for gin lovers with this recipe for Gin Cured Salmon Royale.

  • 12 hours (for curing) + 20 mins
  • 4
  • Hard
Gordon Castle Walled Garden in Speyside is one of the oldest and largest working kitchen gardens in the country. At an impressive eight acres, the restoration project of Angus and Zara Gordon Lennox has seen the 15th century plot transformed into a café, shop and luxury brand. Head chef at Gordon Castle Walled Garden, James Mackie, loves to utilise the garden produce in all of his dishes and ensures the café practices the ‘Plant, Pick, Plate’ ethos as much as possible. His favourite product of the moment is gin and has created a breakfast of champions for gin and salmon lovers the world over.

Ingredients

  • Gordon Castle Gin cured salmon
  • 1 salmon side, skin on
  • 80g sugar
  • 150g Hebridean Sea Salt
  • 50g table salt
  • 120ml of Gordon Castle botanical gin
  • A large handful of dill
  • A few mint leaves
  • 5g Lavender
  • A sprig of rosemary
  • 1 tbsp crushed juniper
  • 1 tbsp crushed pink peppercorns
  • Zest and juice of 3 limes
  • Tonic soda bread
  • 500g wholemeal flour
  • 200g oats
  • 20g salt
  • 10g fennel seed
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 300g black treacle
  • 100ml premium tonic water
  • 500ml milk
  • Hollandaise Sauce
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 4 table spoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 peppercorns
  • 200g butter
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Pinch of salt

Method

Gin Cured Salmon Royale from Gordon Castle

1. To cure salmon, begin by trimming and pinning (remove bones and trim fat if required) the meat. Chop and crush the herbs and spices to release the flavours.

2. From there, mix the salt, sugar, herbs and gin together. Then layer four sheets of cling film, one on top of the other, a few inches longer than the side of the salmon (this removes the “static” from the cling films and makes it become more workable).

3. Spoon the mix on your cling film sheet, and lay salmon skin side down over it, spread the rest of the curing mix over the top and wrap tightly. Place in a deep tray or dish.

4. Allow to cure for 12-16 hours in the fridge (a longer curing time gives you a firmer texture). Meanwhile, you can crack on with the tonic soda bread.

5. Mix all the dry ingredients before adding the milk and tonic. Put your dough in to a greased loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes at 170c. Allow to cool.

6. Once the salmon has cured, wash the marinade from the meat, and dry with kitchen paper. Dice the salmon into small 1cm cubes.

7. When you’re almost ready, it’s time to make the hollandaise sauce. Start by reducing the vinegar in a pan with the bay and peppercorn, strain and set aside. Blend the egg yolks in a food processor with the lemon juice and slowly incorporate the vinegar reduction.

8. Melt the butter until it separates; slowly add the butter to the yolk and vinegar until it starts to thicken. Finish with a splash of gin and season to taste.

9. Serve the tonic soda bread toasted, with the salmon, a poached egg and the gin hollandaise.

About The Author

Sean Murphy

Driven by a passion for all things whisky-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over six years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink.

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About The Author

Sean Murphy

Driven by a passion for all things whisky-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over six years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink.