Preparation 15 minutes, plus standing Cooking 2 minutes Serves 4 as a starter These take a little time but they do keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge. Serve on bread with some sour cream.
8 herring fillets, pin-boned, skin left on 40g fine salt dissolved in 400ml water 100g caster sugar 500ml cider vinegar 1 tbsp pickling spice: mixed yellow mustard seeds, black peppercorns, white peppercorns, coriander seeds sprig of thyme 4 allspice berries 1 bay leaf 1 small onion, finely sliced
1 Put the herring fillets in the brine (salt water) and leave for 2 to 3 hours.
2 In a pan, dissolve the sugar in the vinegar, add the spice, thyme, allspice and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, then take off the heat and leave to cool and infuse.
3 Drain the herrings and discard the brine. Pat the fillets dry with kitchen paper and roll them up, skin-side outermost. Secure with a cocktail stick.
4 Layer the herring rolls with the sliced onion in a sterilised 1-litre Kilner-type jar, then pour in the vinegar mixture, spices and all. Seal and store in the fridge for at least 3 days before eating. The herrings are best consumed within ten days.