The good harvest herring
I caught 40 herring on the boat 6.6 kg, which I shared into two portions, and made ordinary white salted herring and red spiced salted herring. The ingredients for red and yellow spice salt herring found here: Herring Spices. All spices are mixed well and then with salt and sugar to the above recipe for salting. Gutted herring means: Scales cleaned, beheaded and stomach with gut string has been removed. There is a loss of about 18 to 20 %. Each batch fills a bucket of 6 liters. These buckets I have got for free in the supermarket. There has been potato salad in the bucket. Notice that I have set two amounts of salt and sugar. A quantity of salted herring with head and a quantity headless. You choose which method you want to use. I have made an Excel spreadsheet Salted Herring for the determination of herring, salt and sugar. General recommend 200 to 250 g of salt and 10 to 20 grams of sugar per 1 kg fresh whole herring. In my recipe is used 250 g of salt per 1 kg of herring. For salt herring 10 g sugar and spiced herring 20 g sugar per 1 kg herring.
Procedure of salting without responsibility: I must warn against to make your own salted herring, if not hygiene can be complied with to the letter. The herring must never come into contact with soil bacteria. This can happen if they have been on the ground, or been in contact with vegetables. Therefore one use only dried spices. All tackle and equipment must be clean and suitable for food. The temperature during the curing process - maturation - should not exceed 5-8 °C. Therefore put the bucket (approved for food) in a deep, dark cellar or in a refrigerator.
Now we can start. Herring with developed roes (female) and herring with developed sperm (male), this should remain in the herring. Therefore cut above the neck down to the bone and the head pulled off together with the gut string, and then the salt can penetrates into the abdominal cavity of herring. I always cut the head of the herring, as it only fills up the bucket, and I also get the gills with blood away from the brine.
Obtain a 6 to 10 l bucket, it is used for tartar sauce, pickles and potato salad in large scale kitchens sprinkle a layer of one of the above mixture in the bottom. Top with a layer of herring, alternating direction with head and tail. Sprinkle carefully again a mixture over the herring. Come back a layer of herring on top but now on X of the lower herring. Sprinkle again with a mixture. This is repeated until the bucket is full. A plate placed on top of the herrings, so they remain under the brine, which will now evolve.
The first few days the herrings are placed on a "warmly" place, 10 to 12 °C for maturation will take place and the brine can be formed. See to the herrings after 2 to 3 days, to check if the brine covering the herrings. If not all herring covered by brine makes a brine of 1 liter of water and 250 g of salt. Boiled and cooled to 5 °C before it is poured. Now put the bucket with herrings in a cool place 5 °C the next week. Then turn the bucket upside down, therefore a good cover is a necessity. Why? The salt settles at the bottom, the bottom herring becomes too salty, and the top herring will be short of salt. This is only to be done once, after a week eased a little on the lid, so it is not 100% tight. The explanation is that a fermenting occurs in the bucket, sugars, and enzymes in the fish is converted to alcohol, gases (carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide) and acid (acetic acid, butyric acid and fatty acid). Acetic acid is formed only if there comes oxygen into the bucket. The lid must protect against evaporation and contamination from ending down to the herrings.
The home brewer of beer and wine are familiar with the problem of coming oxygen to the yeast tank. If this happens it becomes vinegar instead of wine.
In the next 8 to 12 weeks the herrings are placed cool. Complies with all hygiene rules, you get after 12 weeks a good product without risk to "botulism" also called "Clostridium botulisms", and can proceed with marinate your salted herring. If you don't want to salt your herring, you can buy them from the fishmonger or supermarket and continue from here. Keep in mind it should be old matured herring, this herring is aged for 6 months.
Procedure for marinating without responsibility: The herring must now be filleted. Put the herring on a suitable cutting board with its back towards you and head to the right. I assume that you are right handed! Place your left palm above the herring with fingers pointing towards the head, with a SHARP knife you cut gently down to the backbone and turning the blade so the surface is parallel to the cutting board. Then you cut along the backbone through right down to the tail. Turn the herring so it has the belly toward you and cut again along the backbone toward the tail. You now have two pieces where the belly bones must be removed by cutting diagonally from the back towards the belly. The skin is removed by pulling it from head to tail.
White salted herring diluted 12 hours before marinating: Fillets should now be diluted so that the salt content suitable for your taste buds. You have to try yourselves. But try with a golden middle, putting file pieces in a bowl and pouring cold water over, so it just covers. Put the bowl in the refrigerator overnight and then try to taste the herring the day after. Is it OK, you can continue to make the marinade. If the herrings are too salty, you have to change water again and wait a little to make marinade.
A good marinade is composed of three "things" vinegar, sugar and spices. Equal parts of vinegar and sugar, various spices are mixed. I have mentioned above, various spices, which is a must for a good marinated herring. But you can of course add your own favorite spices and get the taste as you want. Want a different sweetness of the herring; you can adjust the quantity of vinegar and sugar.
Vinegar and sugar bring to the boil while stirring, when the sugar is melted, add the spices and give a brief rehash. Then put the marinade to cool before it is poured over the herrings. The herrings must "swim" in the marinade, i.e. just as much marinade as herrings. The herrings must now take the flavor of the marinade in a cool and dark place - the refrigerator - for at least 2 days. Are you short of time, you can cut the herrings into small pieces and store them on the kitchen table overnight. The flavor can penetrate more easily into the herring.
The shelf life of homemade marinated herring is dependent on how you keep these herring. Is herring covered with the marinade in a glass with a lid and store in the refrigerator, they may well stay 4 weeks. Will there be air to herring, they will become rancid and get an unpleasant taste. Have you ever tried old cod-liver oil? It was the recipe for white marinated herring.
Red and yellow spice salt herring diluted for 2 hours before marinating: Do you want red or yellow, marinated spiced herrings, do make a spice mixture which is added herrings during the curing process. Spice Mixture seen above, check the ingredients on the net and mix it yourself. When I write the "Red and yellow spice salt herring diluted for 2 hours before marinating", the reason is that the herring should not lose its good spice flavor to the water. "Dilution" will take place in the marinade, as fillets absorb liquid. Make a marinade by the above recipe and let the fillets absorb the good taste of vinegar, sugar and spices, at least one week before they are eaten.
Serving: Rye bread smeared with butter or spiced lard is the case.
Garnish: Onion rings, capers, cress a raw egg yolk, just to mention something that fits well with the herring.
Drink: You can not be in doubt. Your favorite beer and snaps is a must.
Hint: Once you've made the marinade, then taste it, the herring will take the same taste of acidity, sweetness and the spices. It is now the time to adjust the taste, so the herring fits your taste buds. The recipe and the amount of marinade is not enough for all 60 herrings. You take maybe 10 herrings up and doing the first portion. Then perhaps you differ on the mixing ratio of vinegar and sugar, and try other spices. Just go ahead and test your taste buds.
Salting with head: One also uses salting with head, and the method is called "blood salting". Cut throat halfway through, put the herrings in a bucket with 50 g of salt per kg herring. Put the the bucket very cold, like to the freezer for a few days. Take out the bucket, and when possible rub the herrings from tail to head, so that the blood comes out. Then salt the herrings as described. The method is cumbersome and takes time, so I salt the herrings without a head.