To make the brine, add 1 part salt to 3 parts water. Bring the brine to the boil and let it cool. When cool, soak the herrings in the brine for 3 hours then wash them with water and pat dry.
For the pickling marinade, mix 3 parts vinegar to 1 part sugar. Add in the bay leaves, green, white, black and pink peppercorns and star anise. Place all of the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Place half of the blanched onions and the carrots into the bottom of a large baking dish. Lay the herring fillets on top of the onions and carrots .Lay another layer of onions and carrots on top. Pour over the marinade and leave to cure in the fridge for 3 days.
Serve the herrings on a bed of the carrot and onion marinade garnish. Dip each beetroot in a little sour cream and arrange around the plate. Squeeze over a little of the lemon to taste.
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