Rollmop herring with chopped beetroot and crème fraîche

Serves 4-6 Starters and mains

Herring Rollmops

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Ingredients

  • 12 herrings
  • 500ml organic cider vinegar
  • 1tbsp allspice berries
  • 8 cloves
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2tsp black peppercorns
  • 5 dried red chillies
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1 large jar pickled cucumbers, drained and cut into pieces the width of the herring fillet, plus a few left whole, to serve
  • 3 cooked beetroot, cut into cubes, to serve
  • 1⁄2tbsp extra virgin olive oil, to serve
  • 125ml crème fraîche, to serve
  • 1 small loaf sprouted rye bread, to serve

Method

Rub any scales from the herrings under a cold tap and remove the fillets leaving behind as much bone as possible, rinse in cold water and gently pat dry. Save the soft roes to make soft herring roe butter (see recipe, right). Inspect for stray pin bones and pull any out with tweezers. Dissolve 75g crushed sea salt crystals in enough water to cover by stirring (no need to heat) and pour over the herring fillets. Set aside and leave for a few hours.

To make the brine, put the cider vinegar in a pan with 250ml water and the rest of the ingredients except the pickled cucumbers. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 minute. Cool completely. Drain, reserving the brine, and roll up the herring fillets (starting at the tail end) with a little onion and a piece of pickled cucumber and secure through with a wooden cocktail stick. Put in a large glass jar or a non-corrosive dish, not plastic, layering them up with some of the ingredients from the brine. Pour over the brine and store in the fridge for 3 days, or up to 1 week.

Drain and serve with extra pickled cucumbers, beetroot drizzled in olive oil, crème fraîche and chunks of sprouted rye bread.

Food styling and recipes: Linda Tubby. Photography and prop styling: Angela Dukes
Herring Rollmops
Food styling and recipes: Linda Tubby. Photography and prop styling: Angela Dukes

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