serves 4 to 6
6 herrings, gutted and filleted, with heads removed
1 large onion or 2 shallots, finely chopped
4 gherkins, finely chopped
for the marinade
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 blade of mace
1 bay leaf
4 allspice berries
Pinch of salt
8 black peppercorns
1 teaspoon brown sugar
5 fl oz (150ml) water
5 fl oz (150ml) wine vinegar
1. Wash the herring fillets and pat dry with kitchen paper.
2. Finely chop the onion or shallots and the gherkins and mix together.
3. Lay each herring fillet skin side down on a board and place a little of the onion and gherkin mixture on each.
4. Roll up from head end to tail end and secure with a cocktail stick.
5. Place all the herring rolls into a shallow heatproof dish or glass jar.
6. Put the remaining onion with all the other ingredients into a saucepan.
7. Bring the liquid to the boil and simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.
8. Then pour this liquid over the herring rolls, allow to cool, cover and set aside in a cool place or the refrigerator for 3 or (preferably) 4 days.