Delia

Soused Herrings

These are delicious served with buttered home-made wholemeal bread and something salady, but they do need to be made a couple of days in advance so that they can marinate and absorb all the flavours.


Serves 6

This recipe is from Delia Smith's Complete Cookery Course, Delia Smith's Illustrated Cookery Course and The Delia Collection: Fish


Soused Herrings
Ingredients
 6 herrings (about 8 oz/225 g each), gutted and boned
 1½ tablespoons salt
 3 teaspoons made-up English mustard
 2 dill gherkins
 1 Spanish onion, thinly sliced
For the marinade:
 1 pint (570 ml) white wine vinegar
 1 teaspoon whole allspice berries
 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
 1 dried red chilli
 ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
 a few bay leaves
 1-2 teaspoons soft brown sugar
Equipment
You will also need 6 cocktail sticks.

Method

First of all make the marinade in a saucepan by combining the vinegar, spices, chilli, bay leaves and sugar with 5 fl oz (150 ml) water. Bring to boiling point, then simmer very gently for 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and leave until cold. Next, sprinkle the herrings with the salt and let them drain in a colander for about 3 hours.

After that, rinse off the salt and dry off any excess moisture with kitchen paper.

Now cut each dill pickle in three lengthways, spread the filleted side of each fish thinly with mustard and place a piece of dill gherkin and some slices of onion horizontally at what was the head end of each fillet.

Then roll up the fillets from the head to the tail end - the skin being on the outside - and secure each roll with a cocktail stick. Pack them into an oval casserole or dish and sprinkle the remaining onion on top.

Pour over the marinade, cover the dish, and put it in the lowest part of the fridge.

The herrings will not be ready for serving for at least 48 hours and, in fact, they will keep well for at least a week.

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