If you lack the time to cure some salmon to precede your stew, you can always drop a big dime on some smoked salmon or prepare this simple tartare.
There is nothing particularly British per se about uncooked fish; raw like cured salmon appears in most northern maritime cuisines. This simple treatment, however, combines classically British elements including citrus zest, malt vinegar and marjoram to make a characteristically bright and simple starter.
-about 1 lb salmon coarsely chopped into irregular ¼ inch bits
-2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
-1 heaped teaspoon lemon zest
-½ teaspoon malt vinegar
-1 teaspoon lemon juice
-½ cup minced shallots
-2 Tablespoons minced chives
-2 Tablespoons minced fresh marjoram or summer savory or a combination of them
-salt and pepper to taste
-cayenne or hot sauce to taste
- Dump everything together and gently turn to combine the ingredients.
- Chill the tartare for at least four hours, optimally more, before serving with toast.
-Olive oil is not as inauthentic as you might think; it has been imported to Britain for at least four and a half centuries.
-You may need up to a teaspoon of salt.
-If you want less bite, substitute more lemon juice for the malt vinegar. We like the bite; salmon is assertive.
-If you do not have chives, use the green tops of scallions; the flavor is a little less delicate but no less appealing.
-Parsley is a viable if less aromatic substitute for the herbs.
-Old School British people butter the toast.