Within the higher Midwest, the place I do most of my fishing, there are a ton of lakes which are infested with small pike. These fish are enjoyable to catch on gentle spinning sort out, however they are often powerful to eat. Pike meat tastes nice, however pike fillets have a line of y-bones working proper by way of the center of them. On mid-sized pike (24-30 inches) it’s straightforward to take away these y-bones. On the snake pike, it’s exhausting to take away the y-bones and nonetheless get a good-sized fillet. So fishermen normally maintain the mid-sized pike and throw again the littler guys. On lakes that see stress, this creates a fishery that’s caught in a cycle of a lot of little pike, a number of mid-sized pike, and even fewer trophy pike.
And that’s the place this recipe involves the rescue — the pickling course of dissolves the y-bones so you may maintain these snakes and throw again the larger pike. You’ll refill on candy, pickled pike and assist enhance your native lake’s fishery. The meat seems firmer than you’d anticipate and there’s not even a style of “fishy” taste. With some onions and a cracker, it’s an unbeatable appetizer.
Reading: How to pickle northern pike
So comply with this recipe, pickle pike, and unfold the nice phrase.
- White wine
- White vinegar
- Canning salt
- Pickling spice (tied in a cheese material bag)
- White onions
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Fillet the pike and take away the pores and skin. Depart the y-bones in (these will dissolve through the pickling course of). Lower the fillets into 1-inch chunks. Freeze the fish for a minimum of 48 hours as a precaution to kill off any parasites.
In a big bowl that can match all the pike, make a salt brine utilizing cool water and canning salt. The brine must have sufficient salt to drift an egg (maintain including salt and mixing till and egg floats on the prime of the brine). Then, add the pike chunks. Cowl the bowl and refrigerate for a minimum of 48 hours.
Subsequent, take away the fish from the salt brine and rinse with cool water. Place the fish again within the bowl and soak in white vinegar. Cowl the bowl and refrigerate for a minimum of 48 hours.
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Take away the fish from the vinegar and rinse in cool water. Now it’s time to make the pickling brine. In a pot, add a 1/2 cup of white wine, 1 1/2 cups sugar, and a couple of cups of white vinegar. Simmer the combination on the range and stir it till the sugar dissolves. Then take away from the range and let it cool.
Whereas the pickling brine is cooling, make your spice packets. Take a small handful of pickling spice (we used McCormick) and wrap it in cheesecloth. Tie the cheese material with butcher’s string. Placing the spice in a packet ensures that you simply received’t chomp into the spices when it’s time to eat the pike.
With the spice packets made and the brine cooled, it’s time to start out pickling. In a small or medium Mason jar add a layer of thinly sliced onions (the thinner the higher) after which a layer of pike. Add one other layer of onions after which a layer of pike till the jar is 3/4 full. At that time, throw within the pickling spice packet and prime off the jar with pike and onions. Then pour within the brine in order that the jar is totally full. Seal the jar and refrigerate for a minimum of seven days. After that, you’re able to bust out the crackers and dig in. Preserve the fish refrigerated even after it’s totally pickled.
It is a fairly lengthy course of so that you’ll need to pickle your pike in massive batches. Scale the ingredient measurements up as wanted. And in case you like a bit extra spice, add entire black peppercorn and cayenne pepper.
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