S H E R R Y  H E R R I N G

Preparation time: 1 hour soaking, plus minimum

6 hours marinating

Cooking time: nil

Serves: 2 as part of a main course

Season: Fresh herring are in season from late May

until early September

4 Matjes pickled herrings

Milk to cover

4 round shallots

15 g dill 

1/2 tsp allspice

1 to 2 tsp sugar

60 ml dry sherry

190 ml tomato juice

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Soak the Matjes herrings in milk for an hour to remove some of the salt from the brine.  Once soaked, drain the milk and discard.  Cut the herrings into 2.5-5 cm pieces and place in a container large enough to hold them.

Peel and finely chop the shallots.  Wash the dill, remove the fronds from the stem and chop them finely.  Combine the shallots and the dill with the herring.  Sprinkle over the allspice and 1 tsp sugar.  Pour over the sherry and tomato juice.  Mix thoroughly to combine.  Taste and add more sugar if needed.  Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight before eating,

Västerbotten cheese and boiled potatoes would make welcome accompaniments to both of these dishes as would crusty bread and salad.  Produced in Northern Sweden, Västerbotten cheese has a dry texture similar to a young Parmesan Regiano or an aged cheddar.  Keens cheddar with its mildly tangy, sharp bite would be a good substitute.