Sardines in Salt [sarde Sotto Sale]

Total Time
2016hrs
Prep 48 hrs
Cook 1968 hrs

Get the freshest fish you can find! 4 kg fish will fill a 2 litre glass jar. Eat on their own with fresh bread with a good glass of white wine, or fillet for a pasta alla Puttanesca.

Directions

  1. Place the sardines into a 10 litre bucket.
  2. Cover and mix with layers of the salt -about1 kg and make sure that every fish is covered in salt. Be gentle when you mix them or you will damage the fish.
  3. Leave 24 hours.
  4. Take the sardines still in the salt in the dish to the beach. Wash the excess salt off with sea water,removing all blood and loose scales.
  5. When at home again, remove the heads and entrails.
  6. Do not try to remove the scales at thisstage,as you will damage the fish.
  7. Place the fish in a stoneware or stainless steel pot,layered with the remaining rock salt.
  8. Cover with a thick layerof rock salt.
  9. Place a plate on top.
  10. Place a weight on top eg 4-5 washed bricks or a bluestone pitcher.
  11. Leave for 28-40 days.
  12. Remove the weights and wash the salt off the fish in a good wine vinegar solution of 1/2 vinegar, 1/2 water, removing any scales.
  13. Dry the fish thoroughly.
  14. Place in a sterilized jar, top and tail.
  15. Sprinkle each layer with garlic, oregano and hot chillies.
  16. Drain any excess brine out of the bottom of the jar.
  17. Cover in the best quality olive oil you can buy andleave for up to 4 weeks before eating.