Bite at the RDS is the new Irish Times food and drink festival where Rob Krawczyk, Head Chef at Brabazon Restaurant, will be demonstrating the art of curing. Read on to learn some of Rob's recipes that are simple to recreate at home.
As part of this event our very own Head Chef Rob Krawczyk will do a demonstration on curing beef and salmon, all of which can be simply done at home.
Quite the expert in this field, Rob is the son of well-known charcuterie producer Frank Krawczyk, so he learned from the best growing up in Schull, Co Cork, where Frank is an important figure in the West Cork Slow Food movement.
Below are the recipes which Rob will be demonstrating to his peers and relative food producers.
Traditional Bacon Recipe
There is nothing more comforting than a lovely crisp slice of bacon. Rob recommends, simply panfrying a slice of the bacon, to bring out the flavours and serve with fermented cabbage (sauerkraut) and a scoop of smooth mash potato, completes a completely satisfying dish. Clean plates guaranteed. The acidity of the fermented cabbage acts as a great neutraliser to the fat content in the bacon. A simple fermented cabbage recipe is to take a head of cabbage (we pick ours from the walled garden here at Tankardstown when available), and a handful of salt, leave to ferment in a warm place. This can be done at the same time as the bacon as it will take up to 2 weeks and regular mixing is required.
For every kilo of Pork Belly:
23 grams of salt
4 grams of pepper
1 gram of sugar
1 bay leaf
Mix all of the ingredients together and rub well into the pork. Once complete store in an airtight container for at two weeks, turning the meat occasionally.
Fennel Cured Salmon-better known to many as gravlax- is one of those dishes that is very impressive yet easy to make. It's nothing more than salt, sugar and seasoning. The curing process dehydrates the fish, removing the liquid and killing any bacteria that may cause spoilage. For a delicious product, make sure to start with a pink, fatty piece of salmon fillet skinned on one side. Rob suggests serving the salmon fillet on a platter with some dill fronds around the sides as garnish or slicing the salmon into thin pieces to serve as an appetiser.
For every kilo of Salmon:
90 grams of salt
30 grams of sugar
Zest of 3 lemons
5g of Fennel Seeds
Handful of Seaweed
Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
Put Salmon skin side down and cover generously with dry ingredients.
Drizzle Gin over the salmon.
Cover Salmon with cling film and place in fridge for up to 28 hours.
Once removed, lightly rinse the salmon in cold water and then dab dry with a paper towel.
At this point the Salmon can be sliced thinly and served as an appetiser.
Hay Smoking Cooking Method.
Rob suggests hay smoking the Salmon, a method that is commonly used in Brabazon Restaurant however can be simply done at home.
Put hay in the bottom of a cake tin and over with a baking tray.
Sit the salmon on top of the baking tray and light the hay.
Cover with another tray.
Allow to burn for approximately 5 minutes.