Soused herrings

Yield: 1 servings

Measure Ingredient
6 \N 8 oz herrings
2 tablespoons White wine vinegar
¼ pint Dry white wine
1 \N Shallot
½ pint Fish stock
1 \N Clove garlic
4 \N Stars of star anise
1 teaspoon Black peppercorns
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Sugar
½ teaspoon Coriander seeds
½ teaspoon Fennel seeds
2 \N Bay leaves
2 \N Sprigs fennel leaf; (2 to 3)
4 tablespoons Olive oil
½ \N Red jalapeno chilli pepper; seeds removed

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6.

Head, gut and scale the herrings. With a filleting knife, slice down either side of the backbone to remove the fillets. Your fishmonger will gladly do this for you. Wash the fillets and pat dry.

Make the marinade. This is extremely simple to do. In a wide based pan, pour the wine vinegar and wine and start to reduce them over a high heat to remove the excess acidity. Roughly chop the shallot and slice the peeled garlic and add these to the pan also.

Reduce the wine by about ½ and then add the fish stock, the seasonings and all the aromatics, including the chilli.

Bring to the boil and boil rapidly until the flavours are amalgamated and concentrated slightly and the acidity has mellowed, about 10 minutes. Add the oil. Remove from the heat.

Roll up fillets from the thick end to the tail end, they don't seem to roll properly and hold their shape the other way round. Stand them on end, coil upright, in a small, deep ovenproof dish. Pour over the marinade to come ¾ way up the fish.

Cover with foil and bake for about 4-5 minutes, longer if the herrings are larger, until the flesh in the coil appears opaque.

Remove from the oven and remove foil.

Allow to cool in the marinade to allow the fish to take up the flavours of the aromatics. Serve warm.

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