An unusual and short recipe today – in the course of my research, I learned that herring is, in parts of Germany and Denmark, marinated in beer (link in Danish). This type of recipe yields a dark and yeasty – yet not too fishy – herring, and variants have since spread – even canned – to France, the United Kingdom, and North America. It’s unusual, but it works pretty well – and I have to say my variant, based on a French-language recipe, turned out quite delicious! The saltiness and fishiness of the herring is cut well by the beer, which blends well with the dill and bay leaves to add a wonderfully savory taste.
In recent years, beer has become quite popular as an oneg Shabbat (Sabbath treat) in many American and Canadian Jewish communities – and, not to mention, that Ashkenazi Jews have a long and ancient tradition of brewing and drinking beer. This recipe combines this pleasure with the classic oneg Shabbat of pickled herring.
Herring Marinated in Beer
Based partly on a recipe in Herring: A Love Story
6-8 salted or brined herring filets, chopped into bite-size pieces
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dill
1 white onion, chopped
1 bottle lager
- If you are using salted herring, soak the pieces overnight in water to remove the salt and drain. If you are using brined herring, rinse the bite-size pieces quickly in water.
- In a non-reactive bowl, layer the herring and onion, interspersed with sprinklings of dill and the two bay leaves.
- Pour beer over the mixture
- Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for two to three days.
Thanks to Andrew Dubrov and Li-Or Zaltzman for participating in this recipe’s User Acceptance Testing.