Eric’s Pickled fish
As I have mentioned a few times, I am blessed to be married to a fabulous chef. Not only does his cooking make food dance on my palate, but most of his friends are chefs too. One of them being chef Eric Bulpitt who currently is the chef at the Restaurant at Newton Johnson. Before that he was the head chef at the famous Roundhouse in the forest above Camps Bay, but have names like Jardine on Bree, The Ledbury (London) and Noma (Sweden) under his belt. He specialises in foraging, local “green” ingredients, but also proudly South African food.
So when I had my epiphany regarding the Sauvignon Blanc and picked fish, he was the first one I could think of to ask. It’s his favourite! This recipe was handed down from his grandmother’s mother and a definite keeper.
1tsp ground coriander
2Tbs fish masala
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
4 cardamom pods
1/4 tsp white peppercorns
3Tbs apricot jam
1tbs tomato paste
2 onions, sliced
5 cloves garlic, chopped
250ml malt vinegar
500ml fish stock
500g hake, cubed
Oil for frying
Toast all spices in pot. This is probably the trickiest part of the recipe, as this will burn with a wink of an eye. So don’t attempt to leave this pot alone.
Add apricot jam and caramelise it. As the spices are dark it will be quite difficult to see when this has happened. Best advice I can give is to smell the mixture, or when the mixture starts to slightly stick at the bottom of the pot.
Add tomato paste and cook it out for a minute.
Add fish stock and vinegar and bring to a simmer for 30min.
Add onions and garlic and simmer for 25min.
While the mixture is on its last stretch of simmering, drench the hake in the seasoned flour. Heat your oil and fry the floured fish cubes until they are golden brown and crispy.
Add fish to hot pickling liquid and leave to cool overnight.
If you think that your pickled fish stands a chance to last, feel free to preserve some of the hot picture in sterilised glass containers. Mine on the other hand don’t stand a chance! I already have a few family members waiting in line to gobble it up. But I plan to at least have one more afternoon on the terrace with pickled fish on a seeded loaf; feet in the air and a glass of Kanu Sauvignon Blanc in my hand. Happy Spring Days!