Keith Leslie, from Ontario, Canada, shared this pickled pike recipe with MontanaOutdoor.com–give it a try and let us know what you think!
Pickled Northern Pike
- 2 to 4 pounds northern pike fillets, cut into bite sized pieces (no need to be boneless)
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup pickling salt
- white distilled vinegar to cover fish (I would have a gallon jug around though)
- 2 cups white distilled vinegar
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons mustard seed
- 4 bay leaves
- 5 whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon whole allspice
- 1 teaspoon whole black pepper
- 1 cup muscatel wine (I used 1/2 cup Shiraz and 1/2 cup pinot grigio, hence the pink color!)
To bottle pickled fish:
- 1 or 2 onions, thinly sliced
- 1 or 2 lemons, thinly sliced
For brine #1, dissolve salt in water. Place bite sized pieces of northern pike in crock or other large vessel, and cover with brine #1. Depending on how much fish you have, you might need another batch of brine. I recommend making it in another bowl, otherwise it is hard to dissolve the salt. Pour over the fish until all the fish is coated. Keep the fish submerged in the brine by weighting down a plate placed over the fish. Refrigerate for 48 hours.
Drain and rinse until slimy feeling is gone from the fish. Wash your jar and return the fish to the jar. Completely cover fish with white distilled vinegar. Place the weighted plate on fish again and refrigerate for 24 hours. This part of the process dissolves the fish bones and turns the fish from translucent to white.
After 24 hours, when you are ready to finish your fish, start the Brine #2. You will want it to cool completely before using so it is fine to start it a bit early. Place all ingredients for the Brine #2 in pot and bring to a boil. Let boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Add the wine.
Drain vinegar from fish and don’t rinse the fish.
To bottle your fish, place alternate layers of fish, lemon slices and onion slices in jars of your choice (I usually use pint canning jars). Pour cooled brine into jar until everything is covered (I like to place a small strainer over the jar to pour the brine through to remove the spices – but this is up to you).
Refrigerate for about 2 weeks before enjoying!