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TOPIC: Making some Lox today

Making some Lox today 30 Apr 2013 14:24 #1

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Beginning to feel good again and figured it was time to get busy. I took out 3 frozen salmon, thawed and filleted them. Cut the filets in half leaving skin on. Stupid store just got a bunch of fresh dill in so picked some up. Also found 5 small plastic washtubs 14"x 14" to lay filets in.
I put the filets in flesh side up exposed, Kosher salted liberally and sugar. Same with the other filet half. Chopped large amounts of dill and covered filet in tub, then laid the other half filet over dill and first filet. Then covered all with more fresh dill. I filled up all the tubs except one this way and the stacked them on each other. The last tub I filled with water (for weight) and put on top of the stack.
They will create their own brine and awesome flavour. Leave this way for 18-24hrs and then go in and turn all the filets upside down for another 18-24hrs. When this is done pull compressed meat out and skin off.
You can now vacuum pack or eat right away. Re-freezing does not hurt it at all and seems to keep forever.
I like to razor thin rolls off the filet with some Gouda, French baguettes and wine. Most of the time it just gets devoured straight up.

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Garner
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Making some Lox today 30 Apr 2013 14:31 #2

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How about some photos of the process. If I understand correctly, you are keeping the containers lids off and the weight of the open containers sit on top of each set of fillets. What is the reason to do that? I know when I brine for the smoker, I use salt and brown sugar and they don't float but are submerged in their own juices... (BTW, canning salt is great as it does not have that metal taste that comes with iodized or rock salt...)

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Doug ;}
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Making some Lox today 30 Apr 2013 18:16 #3

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I like to use glass baking dishes. Same idea with canning salt and white sugar with some dill and course cracked peppercorns between the fillets. I then cover in Saran Wrap and place a second dish on top and put 3 large canned goods in the second dish for weight. I like to refridgerate 24-36 hrs. then rinse and pat dry. BON APPETIT!

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Making some Lox today 30 Apr 2013 21:19 #4

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I'll try to get some pictures Doug. I use the plastic containers because they were 10x cheaper than glass casserole dishes. The reason I stack them is purely for compressing the meat into a more solid form which is better for slicing later.
I do the same as you when smoking Doug just in the brine no weight, but for this stuff its necessary to keep weight on the filets to flatten them out. The meat usually ends up being anywhere from 1.5" thick to 3/4"thick.
I did forget to mention the Saran wrap; thanks for that!

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Garner
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Making some Lox today 30 Apr 2013 23:34 #5

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Thanks guys, I can figure it all out now... I will have to try that this spring when I catch a couple of salmon...

Sounds like a good thing to try with humpies...

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Making some Lox today 01 May 2013 17:59 #6

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here is the salmon in the tub with flesh sides together, salt and dill in between. Then skinned, then wrapped and freezing.

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Garner
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Making some Lox today 11 Jun 2013 23:47 #7

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This is the recipe I use -- admit to stealing this one off the web years ago -- I've done this now for about 5 years with outstanding success!

Here is my favourite recipe for Lox aka Cold Smoked Salmon. This works equally well for Halibut:

There are six main steps in making lox:

1. Filleting the salmon, cutting into serving size pieces and scoring the skin
2. Dry salting (12 hours)
3. Brining (12 hours)
4. Freshening (1-2 hours) Critical step!!!
5. "Painting" with a rum and brown sugar mix (4-6 hours)
6. Smoking (1 hour or less)

• Fillet the salmon, but leave the skin side intact. Cut into serving size pieces.

• Score the skin side with a razor blade in parallel cuts (to allow the salt-sugar mix to be absorbed). Don;t cut the flesh — only the skin!

• Prepare a dry mix in the proportion of 3 parts coarse salt to 4 parts brown sugar. Avoid iodized salt.

• Sprinkle a layer of the salt-sugar mix on the bottom of a glass/plastic/stainless steel/porcelain tray or bin (never aluminum).

• Make a layer of the filleted pieces, cover with the salt-sugar mix, put another layer on, and so forth, until the bin/tray is filled. Put more mix on the thicker pieces, less on the thinner pieces. Sorry... can't quantify any better than this. It's just a matter of learning.... I call it "differential salting."

• Let the bin sit for 12 hours. Lots of syrupy liquid will appear (as the salt and sugar draw water from the fish). As the salt and sugar pretty much stop any decomposition, the bin need not be refrigerated, but try to keep it in a cool, shady place.

• Prepare a brine solution by mixing about 6 lbs. of coarse salt to a gallon of water. A clean 5-gallon plastic bucket is ideal. The brine is a saturated solution.... in other words, it has so much salt in it that any excess simply won't dissolve. It helps to use hot water, but make sure it is cool when the fish is added.

• Remove the pieces and with cold running water briskly rinse off any salt-sugar mix that remains.

•Add the pieces to the brine solution and let sit for 12 hours. Does not need refrigeration. Brining draws water from the fish as it salts the fist. This is what "cures" the lox, as it is not a cooked product.

•Empty the brine from the bucket and place a garden hose at the bottom of the bucket. Slowly run cold water through the hose, causing the bucket to overflow (obviously, this is an outdoor step). This will begin to desalt, or "freshen" the fish. Freshening is the most critical step of the process! After an hour, remove one of the thinner pieces, dry it off, test it for "sliceability" and taste it to make sure sufficient salt has been removed. This is strictly a matter of judgment! Thicker pieces may take two or three hours to freshen. If you over-freshen, the fish will become pale and waterlogged and those pieces will be ruined.

• As you remove the pieces, place them skin side down, on a large towel on a table.

• Prepare a syrup of brown sugar and dark rum...... say, two pounds of sugar to a fifth of rum..... pretty thick.... you may have to heat it to dissolve the sugar. Use a full-bodied, dark rum such as Myers or Coruba.

• Brush the syrup onto each piece. Set a fan at the end of the table where the fish is laid out. As the syrup is absorbed, brush on a new layer. Do this for 5-6 hours until a pellicle (or "skin") of syrup forms on the surface of the fish.

• Then, put the pieces in a smoker, and lightly smoke for about 30-60 minutes.... with hickory, alder, cherry, apple.... anything but mesquite. Do not let the temperature of the product rise above 90°, or those pieces will be ruined!

• Remove the pieces from the smoker, pack and freeze.

• OPTIONAL STEP: Before packing, you may wish to remove the pin bones from each piece with a needle-nose pliers. The bones are easy to spot, because the flesh around them will have shrunk down. They pull out easily. Their removal makes slicing the lox a bit easier, although the pin bones are very fine and will slice through if you leave them in. For "presentation lox" I always remove the pin bones, but for our family's own consumption, I leave them in because their removal is time-consuming.

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Terry
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