Sarde Con Olie - Homemade Tinned Sardines

February 28, 2012
Author Notes

When I get a new idea….I often think of it as a kind of birthing. First a tiny seed takes root and before you know it, it’s walking, living, breathing and even occasionally shouting back at you, forgetting from whence it came.

And so it was with this. First I thought of sardines and their softness in oil and what came to mind was duck confit. And then I knew that the rest was history. —Kitchen Butterfly

  • Makes a jar full
  • 12 Fresh sardines fillets or 6 whole sardines, rinsed, scaled and filleted
  • Caster sugar
  • Coarse sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil (or sunflower oil)
  • Coarsely crushed peppercorns
  • Dried Oregano or Dried Greek Herbs, to taste
In This Recipe
  1. If using whole sardines, fillet them. First remove the head and then gently cut down the belly side, lengthways. Gently remove the guts as sardines are tender fish. Spread open, skin side down. Then place your finger under the central bone and gently pull it up and remove. Using tweezers, remove some of the other larger bones. Cut each fish in half to form fillets and then you’re done.
  2. Cure the fillets in a 50/50 mixture of coarse sea salt and caster sugar for 15 minutes. Then rinse well and pat dry. Just like cured salmon, the flesh will firm up a bit and release some of its juices
  3. Heat oil to 60°C (120°F) and hold at that temperature. Slip in sardine fillets, pepper corns and dried herbs and confit for 3 minutes until just cooked through.
  4. Put fish into a clean, lidded jar or weck pot and top up in oil. Can be refrigerated for a couple of weeks. Enjoy and bask in the knowledge that many things can be made at home! Like I did....

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For the first 9 years of my life I hated food and really loved sugar till Wimpy (British Fast Food chain) changed my life! These days, all grown up, I've junked junk food and spend my days and nights on a quest - to find and share the sweet, sweet nectar that's food in The #NewNigerianKitchen! Dreaming, cooking, eating and writing...about and adoring a strong food community that's big and bold enough to embrace the world's diverse cuisines - I'm passionate about celebrating Nigerian cuisine in its entirety. Why do I love food so? It is forgiving. Make a recipe. Have it go bad....but wake up tomorrow and you can have another go at succeeding! Only with food!