Herring Under a Fur Coat

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(_Seliodka pod Shuboi) _

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SERVES 6—8

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Shuba, the Russian word for fur, is the nickname for this dish; it refers to the layers of potatoes, carrots, and beets that blanket the pickled herring. This salad is meant to be eaten as a zakuska (appetizer), to be served with a variety of other dishes.

3 medium beets, trimmed
1 medium waxy potato
3 carrots, trimmed
1/2 lb. pickled herring filets, cleaned of any stray pin bones, cut crosswise into 1/4"-thick slices, and patted dry
9 tbsp. mayonnaise
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 hard-cooked egg, peeled and chopped

1. Put beets into a medium pot, cover with cold water, and gently boil over medium heat until tender, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, put potato and carrots into another medium pot, cover with cold water, and gently boil over medium heat until tender, about 30 minutes for the potato and 20 minutes for the carrots. Transfer vegetables as done to a plate and let cool completely. Discard cooking water in both pots. Peel beets, potato, and carrots and cut each into 1/4" dice. Set each vegetable aside separately.

2. Arrange one-third of the herring in a single layer in a wide medium serving bowl. Cover herring with one-third of the potatoes, cover potatoes with one-third of the carrots, and, using small spoonfuls, dot carrots with 1 1/2 tbsp. of the mayonnaise. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover carrots with one-third of the eggs, cover eggs with one-third of the beets, and dot with 1 1/2 tbsp. of the mayonnaise. Repeat layering process two more times, beginning with herring and ending with mayonnaise.

3. Cover bowl tightly and transfer to the refrigerator to let salad marinate for at least 6 hours and as long as 24 hours.