James Street South Cookery School: Jawbox salmon and barbecue beef brisket

Niall's gravadlax salmon with gin and beetroot – why not make it with Jaxbox gin?
Niall McKenna

TIS the season... for long and leisurely evenings spent outdoors and with friends. This week’s recipes are great for groups of people especially outdoor events or barbecues – primarily for ease, as they can both be prepared the day before and there is very little prep time involved on the day. This is especially useful if you get your guests to bring the salads and breads.

One of my latest weaknesses is Belfast’s own Jawbox gin which has recently been launched and is making a real name for itself among the connoisseurs of the city and beyond. The salmon recipe has a little twist in appreciation of Jawbox as I have included a hint of it in the recipe – but of course you can use any gin you might have in the house.

This is a super, light dish served with creme fraiche and lemon and provides a great palate cleanser before the hearty flavours of the beef.

The second recipe is the beef brisket we included during our recent barbecue masterclass at our Cast & Crew restaurant in Belfast's Titanic Quarter, which went really well –if you missed it, we have two more lined up, one in June and another in August.

We provide our top tips on how to make the most of entertaining outside with our insider knowledge of barbecue techniques, smoking, marinating, brining, salts and rubs – and there's beer!

For more information check out our Facebook page.



(Serves 6-8)

1kg side of salmon with skin on and trimmed

85g brown sugar

65g salt, Maldon sea salt works best

½ teaspoon white pepper

50g Dijon mustard

Beetroot puree

130ml gin

Start by making the beetroot puree. Get four medium-sized beetroots and cook in a boiling pot of water for 90 minutes. Do not season the water with salt. Once they are cooked and soft, peel (remember to wear gloves for this bit) and blend into a puree.

To prepare the fish, lay the salmon fillet on a piece of cling film big enough so you can wrap the salmon up tightly. Mix all the ingredients into a bowl and pour over the fish with the mixture and leave unwrapped for 30 minutes.

Next, wrap the fish up tightly in the clingfilm, place on a tray and refrigerate for three days.

If you do not use it all, re-wrap in cling film as it should keep for one week.

Serve with a little creme fraiche and a wedge of lemon.



2 kg of Beef Brisket

For the marinade

3 red chilies, chopped

2 red peppers, diced

4 cloves of garlic, sliced

2 tomatoes, halved

½ onion, diced

¼ teaspoon of cumin seeds, toasted in dry pan on medium heat to release flavour

¼ teaspoon of smoked paprika

2 cloves garlic crushed

1 sprig thyme

45ml cider

4 teaspoons salt and pepper


To start this dish you need to brine your beef. In a clean bucket add 300g salt to every 3 litres of water. Leave the beef covered in water for 24 hours. Remove from the water and wash under running water.

Blend the rest of the ingredients in a blender until still a bit chunky, though not completely smooth. Cover the beef in the mix in a bowl or on a plate, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for at least one day.

To cook, remove the beef from the cling film and place on a pre-heated barbecue. If you are using a charcoal barbecue, place on the exterior of the grill, or if you are using gas place up on the higher shelf. Cooking until medium rare will take approximately 20 minutes.


Today's horoscope


See a different horoscope: