Rollmops on Bread Rolls with Salad

A pickled herring fillet on a herb buttered burger bun with salad makes a fairly unorthodox but delicious meal!
A pickled herring fillet on a herb buttered burger bun with salad makes a fairly unorthodox but delicious meal!

Rollmops are rolled herring fillets, pickled in vinegar, sliced onion and any combination of a number of potential pickling spices. They are sometimes wrapped around an already prepared pickle. They are then eaten straight from the pickling jar, usually as part of a salad or in the form of a sandwich. The process of making rollmops usually takes anything from three to seven days, depending upon how strongly pickled you like your fish; but in this instance, I have attempted to replicate the pickling process as closely as possible in the space of less than three short hours. It will soon become obvious (in the name of keeping food costs down) why I have then served the rollmops on toasted burger buns with herb butter and a simple romaine lettuce salad.

How Do You Come Up with Cheap and Easy Lunch Ideas?

Burger buns, herring fillets and a romaine lettuce may at first seem like a curious combination but all were purchased as bargain buys due to them nearing their sell by dates
Burger buns, herring fillets and a romaine lettuce may at first seem like a curious combination but all were purchased as bargain buys due to them nearing their sell by dates
Family Feasts for $75 a Week: A Penny-wise Mom Shares Her Recipe for Cutting Hundreds from Your Monthly Food Bill
Family Feasts for $75 a Week: A Penny-wise Mom Shares Her Recipe for Cutting Hundreds from Your Monthly Food Bill

Slashing your food bills can free up a lot of money to spend on other things, without sacrificing on taste, variety or nutrition. This fabulous book shows you not only how to achieve that but also how to cut the time you spend in the kitchen, affording you more time to enjoy the extra money.

 

It is important when you are looking at saving money on food that you do not go overboard, sacrificing taste and particularly long term nutritional needs in the name of saving a few cents, pence, eurocents, or whatever. While many people do at least sometimes have to live to a fairly restrictive food budget, there are a great many ways to still ensure that your family members get the vitamins, minerals and variety of foods that they need or deserve, all within budget. In this instance, the technique used is simply in looking at when you shop, rather than where or specifically for what.

Almost every food product you can think of only has a certain shelf life, after which time it will spoil and become unfit for human consumption. This period will range from perhaps a year or so in the case of canned legumes, to a day - or two at most - in the case of fresh fish and seafood. When supermarkets are left with food which has expired, it has to be sent for destruction and they obviously know a substantial loss. This means that when they have products due to expire at the close of any given business day, they will often drastically reduce the price in order to recoup at the very least their manufacturing or packaging costs.

Some supermarkets have a specific section where they include products of this type, others simply leave the products on mobile displays in well frequented parts of the store. Find out how your supermarket operates in this way and arrange to visit if at all possible either shortly before closing time, or at least after seven in the evening, when the daily rush is over and bargains are most likely to be found.

The down side of this technique is fairly obvious: you will never know on any given day which products are going to be available at reduced prices. If you are struggling to think of a meal idea from what you see on the shelf, select a few items which you think will go together and let a Google search when you get home of the food items and the word "recipe" help you along the way.

When I visited my supermarket with the intention of producing this page, the three items I picked up at hugely reduced prices were fresh herring fillets, burger buns and romaine lettuce. I had decided from viewing the selections what I was going to (attempt to) make and the specifics of the dish - as well as the full broken down cost - are what follows.

Cook Time

  • Prep time: 2 hours 30 min
  • Cook time: 10 min
  • Ready in: 2 hours 40 min
  • Yields: 3 satisfying lunch portions

Full List of Ingredients

  • 3 small herring fillets
  • ½ small white onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 romaine lettuce, shredded
  • 3 medium tomatoes, sliced or roughly chopped
  • 12 black olives, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 3 burger buns
  • 2oz chive and garlic butter

The Cost of Preparing this Meal

It is fairly obvious that not all the component parts of this meal were purchased at a reduced price but the savings made on the principal ingredients make a significant difference to the overall cost. Although many of the ingredients were already in my kitchen, I have taken fractional costs so far as was reasonably possible in to account to give you an overall close approximation of what this meal for three people (less the condiments) actually cost to produce.

Item
Actual Cost (British Pounds Sterling)
Approximate US Dollars Equivalent (June 2012)
3 herring fillets
0.49
0.75
3 burger buns
0.27
0.41
1 romaine lettuce
0.55
0.85
½ white onion
0.10
0.15
3 tomatoes
0.30
0.46
12 black olives
0.20
0.31
2oz butter
0.40
0.62
Total
2.31
3.55
The overall cost per portion/person of this meal comes in at £0.77 or US$1.18

Be Sure to Check the Herring Fillets Over Carefully

The dorsal fins can clearly be seen still to be in place on these herring fillets
The dorsal fins can clearly be seen still to be in place on these herring fillets

When you buy "filleted" fish, particularly from supermarkets, it is always worth a cursory check of each fillet before you start cooking. In this instance, I found first of all that the dorsal fins were still on the herring. Snip them off right at the base with a pair of kitchen scissors and discard. You do not want to be putting these in your mouth.

Dorsal fins are snipped from herring fillets with kitchen scissors
Dorsal fins are snipped from herring fillets with kitchen scissors

I then had to remove a number of fairly large bones from the fillets, particularly from the area of flesh which once covered the stomach cavity. This is best done with a pair of tweezers and by pulling the bones out along the line in which they are lying.

The bones removed from these herring fillets have been laid on a piece of blue paper to hopefully make them more readily visible
The bones removed from these herring fillets have been laid on a piece of blue paper to hopefully make them more readily visible

Only after you have performed these checks and taken the necessary action should you rinse the fillets in a bowl of cold water and pat them dry with kitchen paper. You can then move on to the preparation proper.

How to Prepare the Quick to Make Rollmops

Herring fillets are rolled and skewered with wooden cocktail sticks
Herring fillets are rolled and skewered with wooden cocktail sticks
  1. Season the flesh of the herring fillets with salt and pepper.
  2. Starting at the tail (narrow) end, roll each of the herring fillets, not too tightly, and secure them with a wooden cocktail stick.
  3. Put the herring in the base of a large pot. Add the sliced onions, black peppercorns and white wine vinegar, followed by enough cold water to ensure the herring fillets are all covered.
  4. Put the pot on the heat, just until the water reaches a simmer. Turn off the heat, cover and leave to cool for two hours.
Herring fillets are ready to be cooked
Herring fillets are ready to be cooked

Plating Up Your Meal

Toasted burger bun is spread with herb butter
Toasted burger bun is spread with herb butter

Lightly toast the cut sides of the burger buns. Spread with a little herb butter.

Burger bun is plated with salad
Burger bun is plated with salad

Plate your burger buns and assemble the salad ingredients alongside.

Rollmop is laid on burger bun with some of the poaching onions
Rollmop is laid on burger bun with some of the poaching onions

Remove the cocktail sticks from the rollmops and lay them on the burger buns. If you wish, you can also add some of the poaching onions. Season everything with a little more salt, close the burger buns over and serve.

Rollmop on herb buttered burger bun with salad is ready to serve
Rollmop on herb buttered burger bun with salad is ready to serve

How did it taste? Considering its unorthodox origins, it was delicious - and it's a lot healthier than what you would normally find in a burger bun!

Wondering about How Nutritious Herring Is?

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 140g
Calories 367
Calories from Fat225
% Daily Value *
Fat 25 g38%
Saturated fat 3 g15%
Unsaturated fat 22 g
Carbohydrates 13 g4%
Sugar 11 g
Protein 20 g40%
Cholesterol 18 mg6%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Thank you for Visiting - Hopefully You Liked this Recipe Idea

Cast your vote for these quick and easy rollmops on burger buns

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4 comments

Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Hi Denise and thank you. I suppose in some ways, herring are not unlike sardines. They are quite distinctive, however, in their own right. Have you ever eaten a kipper? A kipper is simply a smoked herring, so you may have tried them without knowing it. If not, I hope you do get a chance to try this really delicious and inexpensive fish.


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Thank you, Letitia - I hope very much that he does!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

Great photos and explanation, as well as the wonderful tips you've left about cost saving. I'm not sure I've ever had herring. Is the flavor like a sardine? Thanks for sharing. Rated up and useful.


LetitiaFT profile image

LetitiaFT 4 years ago from Paris via California

Oh boy, will my husband ever like this one!

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