Herring has been grossly overfished in its time so is not as widely available as it once was, so make sure you source the fish from a trusted supplier for this soused herring recipe. Emily Watkins' version of this traditional dish is relatively classic, but includes a few creative extras - in particular its Bloody Mary sauce.
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Mix together the water and salt for the brine in a tub big enough to accommodate all of the herring fillets. Submerge the fillets in the brine and leave in the fridge for 3 hours
500ml of water
90g of table salt
6 herring, filleted and trimmed
After 3 hours, wash the fillets in cold, fresh water
Add the vinegar and sugar to a pan and bring to the boil. Place all of the other sous ingredients in a heatproof container and pour the hot liquid over them, then leave to cool completely
600ml of white wine vinegar
200g of caster sugar
250g of onion, peeled and sliced
1 bay leaf
10 black peppercorns, crushed
2 allspice berries, crushed
1 sprig of thyme
Once the liquid has cooled, add the herrings and leave in the fridge for at least 2-3 days. Once ready, remove from the liquor, pat dry and use within 3 days
To make the bloody Mary dressing, mix together all of the ingredients in a bowl and leave to infuse for 2 hours. Once ready to serve, pass through a chinois to remove the pulp
125ml of tomato essence
1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 tsp flaky sea salt
7g of horseradish, grated
25ml of rapeseed oil
For the salad, cook the potatoes from a cold salted water start and bring to a gentle simmer. Once the potatoes are just cooked and tender, strain and allow to cool. Once cooked, cut into slices and place in a bowl
500g of pink fir apple potatoes
Use a sharp peeler to remove any tough bits of the outside of the celery sticks. When they are nice and smooth, use the peeler or mandolin to make thin ribbons of celery. Add to the bowl along with the potatoes
4 celery sticks
Peel the tomatoes and remove the seeds. Cut the remaining flesh into a concasse, or medium dice
Add to the bowl with the other salad ingredients and season generously with the bloody Mary dressing. Arrange the salad on the plates and top with 2 herring fillets per plate. Serve immediately
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