Smoked herrings (not in a can) can by tricky to find in the USA, I have seen some online or at specialised fish mongers. If you can find this fish, or any similar raw, salted, smoked fish like halibut or salmon, it is worth trying this recipe. This recipe in particular is a speciality from the north of France. Those two ingredients combine the most produced vegetable north of Paris and a traditional fish from the harbours of the channel.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 1 lbs of raw smoked herrings
- 2 lbs of potatoes (about 5 medium potatoes)
- 1 medium onion
- 2 bay leaves cut in chunks
- Pepper and salt if you decide you need some
- 6 Pepper corns
- Neutral salad oil, like peanut or rapeseed
- White whine vinegar or white vinegar (No balsamic please)
Preparing the salad:
- Place the potatoes with the skin in a large pan and cover with cold water.
- Turn on medium heat and boil for one hour. If the water evaporates too much and the potatoes are only half covered, add boiling water. Turn the potatoes around once or twice during the process, After one hour you should be able to go through the heart of the potato with a metal skewer without resistance.
- Drain the boiling water and replace by cold water. (Fun fact: boiling water is a perfect weed killer)
- Peel and cut the onion in thin half rings.
- Cut the herring in 2 inches chunks.
- Peel the potatoes and cut in slices. (Don’t worry if they break into pieces, it all depends on the variety of potato)
- In a large bowl mix the herrings, the potato slices, the onion, the bay leaves. And 6 whole peppercorns. Season with oil, vinegar and pepper. Taste to check if you need to add salt.
- The warm potatoes will “drink” a lot of the vinegar, you may need to add some more.
There you go, it is ready to serve with a nice crisp white wine like a Muscadet. Bon appetit!