Irish Herring

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Cold-Smoking & Salt-Curing Meat, Fish, & Game

Cold-Smoking & Salt-Curing Meat, Fish, & Game

By A D Livingston

Published 2010

  • About


According to my old edition of Larousse Gastronomique, the Irish once had a simple but unusual method of preparing smoked herring. The fish were beheaded and split in half lengthwise, spread flat in a suitable container, covered with whiskey, and flamed. When all the whiskey had burned away, the herring were ready to eat. I recently ran across the same technique in a book on British country cooking, in which the author used the term for cold-smoked fish prepared by this method.

One day I intend to try the method with real Irish whiskey and smoked herring, but to date I have not had the opportunity. I did, however, prepare some at a smoked mullet fest in the north of Florida, where the tradition is to butterfly the mullet before smoking it. I selected some smaller smoked mullet and poured some sour-mash bourbon over them and burned it off. The fish were delicious. The idea got some attention in the area, and the North Florida good ol’ boys may have picked it up.