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Salt-Cured Anchovies

2 lb (1 kg) very fresh anchovies
2 lb (1 kg) coarse sea salt
About 20 bay leaves, preferably fresh
About 20 sprigs fresh thyme

Lightly rinse (don't wash or soak) the anchovies. Individually
head and gut the fish by holding each anchovy firmly just beneath
the head and gently pull off the head and attached entrails.
Discard the head and entrails. Place a thick layer of coarse salt
on the bottom of a large sterilized canning jar. Place a layer of
anchovies - side by side - on the salt. Sprinkle a thin layer of
salt on top of the anchovies. Continue layering until all the
anchovies and salt have been used, ending with a layer of salt.
Every layer or so, add several bay leaves and sprigs of fresh thyme.
Cover securely and store in a cool, dry place, or refrigerate. A
brine will form as the anchovies absorb the salt and are cured.
This should not be discarded. The anchovies are ready to eat in
about 2 weeks, and they can be stored for up to one year, in a
cool, dark spot.

Properly cured anchovies are a deep mahogany colour, much like ham.
To eat, simply fillet the anchovies and use in any dish calling
for cured anchovies.

Yield: 4 lb (2 kg) anchovies

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