Arctic Char Gravlax with Sorrel Cream Sauce

Chef Pierre LePage lives in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. He runs his own restaurant and loves to cook with Arctic Char. He says he has always preferred cold water fish as the icy waters freeze in the flavour. He shares his recipe for Arctic Char with Gravlax Sorrel Cream Sauce.

Ingredients for Gravlax

  • 2 bunches if fresh dill with stems
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 cup course sea salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. black peppercorns, cracked
  • 1 tsp. whole allspice, cracked
  • 2 oz. Brandy
  • 2 fresh char fillets (about 2 pounds each) skin on, pin bone out

Method for Gravlax

Mix together sea salt, brown and white sugar, peppercorns and allspice. Rub the mixture on all sides of the char. Put a thin layer of the mixture on the bottom of the cooking dish, lay fillets skin down in the dish and pack the remaining rub evenly around the fillets. Spread the dill and thyme on top of the fillets until the char is covered. Sprinkle a little brandy on each fillet.

Tightly cover the dish and leave at room temperature for 2 hours, then refrigerate for 24 hours. Remove the cover, flip over the fillets, rewrap the dish and put a weight on top (like a cookie sheet with 2 cans on top). Return to the fridge for another 24 hours. At the end of curing, unwrap the fish and scrap away the herbs and spices. The gravlax will be firm but pliable and slightly translucent. Expect to see a great deal of liquid accumulate in the dish as the fish shrinks.

To slice the gravlax, use a thin, sharp knife. Hold the knife at a 10 degree angle, starting from the tail end, begin slicing the gravlax no thicker than 1/6 of an inch. The slices should be so thin that you can see through the flesh and watch the knife’s movement as you slice.

Ingredients for Sorrel Sauce

  • 250 ml sour cream
  • 1 bunch fresh sorrel
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh dill, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method for Sorrel Sauce

Put sorrel, dill, garlic and lemon juice in a cuisinar or blender and puree. Add sour cream and season with salt and pepper.

To serve, arrange the gravlax slices on a platter, serve with thin slices of toasted bread and sorrel sauce.

Courtesy of L'Heritage Restauraunt Français
5019 - 49th Street
Yellowknife, NT
Tel: (867) 873-9561