Although the Welsh herring catch is not as large as in the past, this fish is widely available throughout Wales – Swansea Market is great for fresh fish and only a twenty minute drive from our holiday cottages. Mackerel can be substituted if herrings are not available. This recipe comes from Fishguard in Pembrokeshire (Abergwaun is the Welsh for Fishguard, i.e. Aber, river mouth, Gwaun, the name of the local river). Fishguard Herrings are of exceptional quality and used in many unusual ways.
8 medium-size filleted herrings
1 large peeled, cored and sliced apple
2 lb. peeled and sliced potatoes
1 large peeled and sliced onion
1 heaped teaspoon made mustard
1 teaspoon chopped sage
1 level tablespoon butter or margarine
salt and pepper to taste
Lay the fillets of fish flat, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and paint over a little mustard on each, then roll up the fillets. Lightly grease an ovenproof dish and line it with half the sliced potatoes, then layer it with sliced apple, then onion and finally herring rolls. Sprinkle with chopped sage and season again. Cover with the remaining potatoes, and half fill the dish with boiling water. Put the rest of the butter on top in small pieces, cover and bake in a moderate oven (350oF.) for 45 minutes. Remove the lid, and allow the top to brown for a further half an hour.
This recipe can also be used with mackerel fillets, anchovies, pilchards, John Dory, or tuna fish, and half cider and half water can be used if liked. Serve 4-6. The Welsh name for Fishguard Herring is Sgadan Abergwaun.