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Pickled Holland Herring

1 pkg Holland herring

For each wide mouth jar (quart):

2 cups coarsely cut Spanish onions
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 small/half bay leaf
White pepper

Drain brine from keg and clean herring cutting off tail and head
if necessary. Soak in refrigerator for at least 24 hours in about
3 gallons of water, soak longer and change water 5-6 times if
herring are packed in salty brine. This will vary because of
varieties of herring - salt, schmaltz, matjes and bismark - and
they vary as to saltiness and firmness. To bone herring, take a
sharp, pointed knife and slit along the backbone, starting with
the head end on your left hand side, grasped firmly by your left
hand, and traveling the knife across the spine, going about an inch
down toward the bone until you come to the tail end. Bend the tail
sharply to break it, then reverse the fish and move back along the
spine, loosening flesh from bone with index finger and thumb. Roll
slivers of fillet around pieces of dill pickle and fasten with a
toothpick, you can make these large or smaller, for appetizers. In
each jar, place 1 cup onions, the mustard seed, peppercorns, salt
and bay leaf. Pack in rolmops, the remaining 1 cup onions, then
fill empty spaces around herring with mixture of 1/2 water, 1/2
vinegar. Place lid on jar and shake from side to side to get rid
of air bubbles. Remove lid and add more water and vinegar mixture
to fill completely. Cover again and refrigerate for 10 days. Rolmops
must be eaten within 4 weeks, or they get soft.


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