Cured and pickled anchovies (boquerones) are a mainstay of any tapas bar in Spain. In our part of Wales, freshly caught anchovies come our way only a few times a year, but fresh sardines are readily available, and happily these plentiful and sustainable fish work perfectly in this dish.



To prepare:

  1. Sprinkle the salt and sugar evenly in a large roasting tray, then add the thyme sprigs and sliced garlic.
  2. Place the sardine fillets, flesh-side down, on these ingredients and set aside for 1 hour.
  3. When the time is up, rinse off the salt and sugar, wipe the roasting tray clean, then return the fish to it and pour the cider vinegar over them.
  4. Cover with clingfilm and leave to marinate at room temperature for 90 minutes.
  5. Then transfer to the fridge for 4 hours. The flesh should have turned white, as the acetic acid in the vinegar ‘cooks’ it.
  6. Remove the fillets from the marinade (don’t rinse), then transfer to an airtight container. Drizzle the olive oil over them and refrigerate overnight.

To serve:

  1. Serve with fresh crusty bread and enjoy the taste sensation.

Bar 44

Bar 44 was founded by Owen Morgan, in 2002. Having fallen in love with Spanish food, drink and culture over time, he wanted to bring his favourite tapas dishes and a slice of modern Spanish culture to the UK. Tom Maynard joined Bar 44 six years ago after working for Caprice group in London for 5 years; he is now Head Chef at Bar 44, Bristol. Their menu focuses on impeccably sourced ingredients served with modern touch and a lot of Spanish passion. Support Bar 44 during these times and buy a voucher to be used for a night to remember at one of their restaurants.


Preparation Time: 6 hours and 30 mins

Cooking time: No cooking time required

Serves: 6


For the sardine boquerones:

3 tbsp sea salt

1 tbsp soft brown sugar

2 Sprigs of lemon thyme

2 Garlic cloves

7 Sardines, scaled and filleted (ask your fishmonger to do this)

200ml Cider vinegar

Extra virgin olive oil




Estrella Galicia Cerveza Lager
A traditional flavour of marked bitterness and refreshing aftertaste.

Available from: Sainsbury´s, Waitrose, Majestic, Ocado and Greene King online.