You may have read my sweet edition of this series – cooking with gin. Well now I have a selection of recipes for you if you don’t have a sweet tooth, or maybe if baking isn’t your thing. Enjoy these savoury recipes using gin as one of the key ingredients!
*Full disclosure: all brands have contributed recipes from a call out on social media, no gifted gin was involved in the writing of this post! Where I’ve previously been gifted gin or worked with a brand before I’ve disclosed this with [prior partnership] after the first name mention. This post also contains affiliate links – these raise money to support the blog at no extra cost to you and are all clearly marked [affiliate link]*
Cooking with gin: savoury edition
For ease of use I’ve detailed the recipes included in this post below, let me know which you end up making!
- Oysters with Gin Mare
- Thunderflower gin & beetroot cured salmon
- Brentingby gin rooibos & baobab smoked trout
- Atlantic Spirit tarragon & thai basil mussels
- NGinious lemon gin marinade for BBQ
- Slake Gin marmalade glazed gammon
- English Spirit chicken & gin
- Red Snapper granita
1. Oysters with Gin Mare [affiliate link]
This isn’t really a recipe – more a serve… If you are serving oysters or if you like dirty martinis (or both) then you have to try it!
Simply take your freshly shucked oyster and drizzle with a little gin (a herbaceous, savoury gin like Gin Mare works superbly!) and then down – voila! I tried this for the first time at a Gin Mare event a few years ago and it worked so well. You can order oysters from Fish For Thought for nationwide delivery in the UK from £8 for half a dozen – so why not treat yourself in lockdown? Valentine’s day is coming also, and you know what they say about oysters…. (apparently good for the libido!)
2. Thunderflower gin & beetroot cured salmon [prior partnership]
The classic combination of beetroot cured salmon with gin can’t be missed. Thunderflower had this dish on a gin inspired dinner party they did, pairing their gins with gin-inspired dishes.
Adapted from an Olive magazine recipe
- salmon 1 boneless and skinless side (around 800g from the thick end)
For the cure
- beetroot 300g, washed and peeled
- demerera sugar 400g
- table salt 300g
- black pepper 1 tsp
- limes 3, zested
- juniper berries 2 tsp, crushed
- wholegrain mustard 3 tbsp
- Thunderflower gin 150ml
- white wine vinegar 50ml
- caster sugar 2 tbsp
- cucumber 1, thinly sliced
- Put the beetroot, sugar and salt in a food processor and whizz to a purée, then add the remaining cure ingredients and whizz again.
- Pour half of the cure into a large plastic container big enough to hold the fish and cure, lay the salmon on top and pour on the remaining cure. Cover and chill
- The following day, remove the salmon and give the cure a good mix. Put the salmon back and spoon the cure back over, cover and chill for a further 24 hours.
- To make the pickled cucumber, whisk the white wine vinegar with the caster sugar and 2 tbsp of water. Pour over the cucumber, mix well and leave to pickle for several hours.
- Wash the salmon under cold running water and discard the cure. Slice the salmon thinly and serve with pickled cucumber and toasted rye bread.
3. Brentingby gin rooibos & baobab smoked trout [prior partnership]
Brentingby have been inventive with using ingredients from distiller Bruce Midgley’s homeland, South Africa. Whilst the smoked trout doesn’t use the gin in the recipe, it uses the botanicals in Brentingby Pink – rooibos and baobab. Bruce has also shared that an easier way to cook the fish is to use Brentingby Pink gin. Simply soak the fish in the gin and bake in the oven until cooked. If you fancy getting more involved then I recommend giving this smoked trout recipe a go. Just remember to pour a Brentingby Pink gin and tonic to have alongside it!
- 1 large fresh trout, filleted
- 1 deep baking tray, lined with tinfoil
- 1 x small cooling rack, lightly greased
- Heavy duty tinfoil, to seal
- 1 orange, sliced in half and used as trivets for the cooling rack to rest on top
- ¼ cup rice (or barley/woodchips)
- ¼ cup rooibos tea leaves (about 6 teabags, torn open and emptied out)
- 1/4 cup baobab powder (you can get this online)
- ¼ cup brown sugar
4. Atlantic Spirit tarragon & Thai basil gin mussels
Atlantic Spirits were inspired to use the sea in a savoury recipe with their gin, and their Thai basil gin makes a fab twist on the classis Moule Mariniere.
Recipe inspired by La Mouclade by Alan Davidson
- 2kg of fresh mussels
- 50g Butter
- 1Tbsp Flour
- 150ml White Wine
- 75ml Atlantic Spirits Thai Basil Gin
- 2 Cloves garlic, crushed
- Salt and Pepper
- Egg yolk
- Juice of 1 medium lemon
- 1 heaped Tsp Dried tarragon
- Wash and debeard the mussels. If you’ve not done this before, take a look here, https://www.epicurious.com/expert-advice/how-to-clean-and-debeard-mussels-article Discard any mussels that are open.
- Place mussels in a large deep pan over a low flame. Pop on a lid and give it at least 4-5 mins until majority are open. Give a shake regularly.
- When opened, remove them from heat, take the half shells off. Discard any that are still closed.
- Strain mussel juices from the pan. If they are from the supermarket they will be grit free, if fresh from the sea you will need to strain the juice through a clean muslin/tea towel.
- Keep the mussels, each remaining in their half shell, warm in the oven (low heat).
- For the sauce, melt the butter in a pan, stir in flour over a low heat.
- Add garlic, tarragon, wine and some of the mussel liquor, enough to produce a thin sauce. After 5-8 mins add the gin. Allow to simmer for another 5mins or so.
- Season, but go easy on the salt. Add the egg yolk to bind the sauce, add the lemon juice.
- Put the mussels into the sauce, serve with French fries. Bon Appetit!
5. NGinious! lemon gin marinade for BBQ
One more for the Summer unless you are a hardy soul who ventures out to BBQ in the cold. Nginious! suggest using their Summer gin [affiliate link] and using this marinade for chicken, fish or beef dishes. They recommend serving grilled veggies or grilled peach slices as a side and also note that these go really well with burrata or any kind of mozzarella! Naturally you should wash this all down with an Nginious! Summer gin and tonic with a slice of peach and basil leaf for garnish – ah I can’t wait til Summer weather…
- 80ml olive oil
- peel of a lemon
- juice of 4 lmeons
- 80ml Nginious! Summer gin
- 2 spoons of honey
- 2 sliced cloves of garlic
- a thyme twig chopped up
- salt and fresh chili as you like it
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl, pour over your protein of choice – the recipe will serve 4 people or approx. 1kg meat or fish.
- Marinade the meat or fish for 3-4 hours in a fridge (or over night – be careful with fish to ensure it doesn’t cook in the lemon juice!)
- Fire up the BBQ and get grilling!
6. Slake Gin marmalade glazed gammon
Quite a few gin brands make marmalade with the ‘cooked’ citrus from their distillation. Slake Gin have recommended using a gin marmalade to make this glazed gammon and it sounds like a fabulous idea to me! You can either buy a gin marmalade or make one yourself using this recipe from The Usual Saucepans (there are lots of variations if you google too!)
Recipe adapted from Great British Chefs:
- 1.5kg gammon, ask your butcher to tie it for you
- 1 large onion, quartered
- 1 celery stick, cut into chunks
- 1 carrot, roughly chopped into 4
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp of gin marmalade, peel-free if possible
- 1 tbsp of muscovado sugar, dark
- 1 1/2 tbsp of Dijon mustard
- extra: 25ml of Slake gin
- Put the gammon in a large pan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, remove the meat, drain the water and return the gammon to the pan and cover it again with more cold water
- Add the stock vegetables, pepper and bay and bring to the boil again. Turn the temperature down and leave to gently simmer for 2.5 hours
- Remove from the pan and you can either leave the ham to cool before popping in the fridge ready for baking the next day or preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6 while you make the glaze. Keep the stock for delicious soup which you can also chuck the stock vegetables into
- Put the glaze ingredients (except gin!) in a small saucepan and stir over a gentle heat until everything has melted. Increase the heat and bring to the boil, before removing from the heat ready to baste the ham with – stir the gin in now
- Remove the skin on the ham with a sharp knife, leaving a thin layer of fat. Score the fat with the knife to make diamond shapes and stud the centre of each diamond with a clove
- Paint the ham liberally with the glaze and pop into the oven for 45 minutes, taking it out every now and then to baste it with more glaze
- Eat hot with buttered cabbage and potatoes or cold with pickles, chutney and homemade bread
7. English Spirit chicken in Dr J’s gin, chive and stilton sauce
When I shouted out on social for gin recipes, English Spirit’s proposed their seared chicken in Dr J’s gin, chive and stilton sauce. They recommend serving this with braised carrots and crushed new potatoes with mint. Check out this video to see Dr J making this on an Aga – what is more English than that?!
Ingredients for 4:
- 4 small chicken breasts, or 2 large ones to split between 4, skin on
- butter and oil for cooking
- 2 shallots sliced
- 4 chestnut mushrooms sliced
- c. 50g stilton cheese (a ‘normal’ sized slice)
- 1 heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 150ml chicken stock
- c. 100ml Dr J’s gin (you may use more!)
- 100ml double cream
- 2 bay leafs
- chives roughly chopped
- Melt butter with a little oil in a hot pan and sear the chicken, skin side down for 3 minutes to caramelise. Then put the chicken breasts in a new pan into the oven for 8 minutes at 200 degrees (fan)
- Meanwhile take the pan you were using and add the sliced mushrooms and shallots and saute over a low heat until they soften, c. 3 minutes
- Add the gin to deglaze the pan – add enough to lightly cover the mushrooms & shallots. Reduce by 2/3rds
- Add 150ml chicken stock and reduce again
- Add the bay leaves and crumble in the stilton cheese
- Mix in 1 heaped tsp of Dijon mustard (or whichever mustard you prefer), stir in 100ml of double cream and let thicken to your desired sauce consistency
- Take the chicken out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes while you prepare your accompanying veggies & potatoes
- Take the sauce off the heat and add the chopped chives
- Slice your chicken and serve with veggies and the sauce
8. Red Snapper granita
The inspiration for this recipe came from a La Belle Assiette dinner party I hosted. In between courses we had a Bloody Mary granita as a palate cleanser and it was delicious. However being me, I needed to make the gin based equivalent – the Red Snapper – instead!
Ingredients to make 6 servings:
- 400ml tomato juice
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (45 ml)
- 1 teaspoon horseradish (8 g)
- 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- few dashes of hot sauce (I like Sriracha)
- 50ml gin of choice – I would choose something savoury like Renegade from Doghouse Distillery
- Chopped basil leaves to serve
- Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and stir to thoroughly combine, taste and adjust any seasoning/add extra hot sauce!
- Pour the mixture into an 8 x 8 x 2-inch (20.32 x 20.32 x 5.08-centimeter) pan and freeze it for 1 hour.
- Bring the pan out of the freezer and use a fork to scrape whatever bits of it have frozen.
- Return it to the freezer for another hour. Again use a fork to scrape whatever bits have frozen—you’re creating ice crystals. You may need to do this 1 or 2 more times until you get the consistency you like. It really depends on how cold your freezer is.
- Scrape again before serving in individual dishes with the chopped basil on top.
Let me know in the comments if you make any of these recipes!