Let’s make a fish preserve. We will use marlin today. But you can do it with tuna. And with bonito, if you can find it. Marlin will do. Let’s make it.
12 black peppercorns
12 ounce marlin
Some extra virgin olive oil
Some red wine vinegar (optional)
First a warning. To make preserves it is very important to sterilize the jars and all the tools you will be using. Otherwise it could be even dangerous for your health. So make sure you boil the jars and the tools properly before using them to make the preserve. Wash your hands properly but, anyway, do not touch the jars with them. Use a pair of tongs to handle them.
This is a recipe for preserving marlin. Of course it will be good for other kind of fish. Tuna, bonito or similar fish will be also good. In fact, tuna and bonito preserves are really traditional in my country. And almost everywhere.
Once you have sterilized everything well, you can start with the preserving. First put the peppercorns in the glass jars. Next thing, prepare and clean the fish. Remove skin and bones. The marlin must be neat.
Try to cut the marlin in pieces that will fit the jars. If you can get a piece that will fit a jar, the better. That is better that putting several pieces of marlin in a jar.
Put a good piece of marlin in every jar. Fill the jars with olive oil seasoned with a bit of salt. You can add some vinegar if you want. I like it with vinegar but it is up to you. Besides, if you use some vinegar, the preserve will be safer. Fill the jars to the rim, making sure you do not leave any air inside the jar. Then close the jars with their lids.
Put the jars in a big pan and cover with water. Make sure the water covers the jars and then add more water. We want the jars to be covered by water through the whole process. Now you will have to sure you boil the jars for at least one hour.
Let the jars cool. You are not in a hurry to remove the jars from the water.
When they are cold enough, remove from the water and let them cool completely before storing them in a dark and dry place. That is if you are not tempted already to try them. You can, you should, store them for one month at least. The taste will be better then.
You can serve it as a side. It is also good as an ingredient for a salad. It is really good. Once you are comfortable making preserves, you will find it very rewarding. I have to admit that the preserves are so good that they do not last too long in my pantry. I should be more patient. It does not matter. Whenever you eat it, enjoy it!