Beetroot-cured Cotswold trout carpaccio

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Cured fish is simple to prepare at home, and adding beetroot to the mix gives it a beautiful red hue. In this recipe, Kuba Winkowski serves wafer-thin slices of beetroot-cured trout with fermented radish slices, dressed beetroot and sour cream, resulting in a stunning starter that is bound to earn you brownie points at the dinner table.

While you do need to leave the radishes for a week and curing the trout takes several days, both of these elements can be made well in advance, requiring you to simply cook the beetroot and plate the dish on the day itself.

First published in 2020





Fermented radishes


To serve


  • 3l Kilner jar
  • Oak wood chips


Begin by fermenting the radishes, which will need at least a week. Place the radishes in a 3-litre Kilner jar (or 2 smaller jars) with the cardamom pods, star anise and coriander seeds. Stir the salt into the water and pour into the jar until full. Seal, then store for at least a week in a dark, dry place (remember to ‘burp’ the jar by opening the lid every few days to allow built-up gas to escape). Transfer to the fridge to halt the fermentation process once you’re happy with the flavour
The trout will also require preparing 2 days in advance, plus an extra 8 hours if you are smoking the fish. It will happily sit in the freezer until ready to serve, so you can prepare it even further in advance if desired
Combine the salt, sugar, dill and black pepper and divide the mixture in half. Add the grated beetroot into one half of the curing mix
Check the trout for pin bones and remove any you find. Trim away any excess fat, then score the skin 3 times
  • 1 rainbow trout fillet, or 1 side of trout, weighing approx. 1.2-1.5kg
Spread the half of the curing mixture that doesn’t contain beetroot across a tray large enough to hold the trout. Place the trout on top, flesh-side up, then cover it with the beetroot curing mix. Make sure the entire fish is covered, patting the curing mixture all over, then transfer to the fridge and leave uncovered for 24 hours
The next day, wash all the cure off the trout, dry the fish with a tea towel and then return to the fridge for a further 24 hours to dry out
If you don’t have the equipment needed to cold-smoke fish, then skip this step (it will still be delicious simply cured). However, if you do, place the trout in the chamber and cold-smoke with oak chips for 8 hours. Wrap in greaseproof paper then leave in the fridge overnight to allow the flavours to mellow
Carefully remove the skin from the trout with a long sharp knife, removing as much of the brown fat as you can, then cut the fish in half lengthways. Place the 2 halves together, one on top of each other, with the skinned side facing inwards so the beetroot-stained flesh faces outwards. Roll the fish in cling film as tightly as you can to create a neat, compact cylinder, then tie the ends and place in the freezer for 24 hours to set solid. Remember, this can all be done in advance, as the trout is best sliced when still frozen (or semi-frozen)
On the day you plan to serve the dish, preheat an oven to 180°C/gas mark 4 for the beetroot
Wash the beetroot well, then dry, season with salt and drizzle with rapeseed oil. Wrap in foil then bake for around 90 minutes, until cooked throughout. Leave to cool
Peel the cooked beetroot, then finely dice the flesh. Dress with the Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar and rapeseed oil, then season with salt and pepper to taste
You now have all the elements ready to assemble the dish. Remove the trout from the freezer and finely slice with a meat slicer or a very sharp knife (if using a knife, it’s best to allow the fish to thaw for 10-15 minutes beforehand). Lay slices of the fish in a circle on each plate
Take 1 fermented radish per plate and slice into rounds, then arrange these on top of the fish. Spoon or pipe dots of sour cream around the plate, then scatter over the diced dressed beetroot. Finish with the chopped chives, chopped shallot and sorrel leaves and serve
First published in 2020

From moving to England at twenty-four to attend catering college to being named National Chef of The Year 2019, Kuba Winkowski has rocketed to the top in record time. His cooking is refined, peppered with Polish influences and – most importantly – delicious.

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