Brown all the minced meat in a cast-iron pan with a big knob of butter, until nicely lightly browned.
Add the diced onions, chopped garlic and roughly chopped herring fillets.
Next, add the anchovies and tomato puree.
Pour in the Cognac and the water.
Let it simmer on a medium heat for about half an hour, then carefully blend all the ingredients with a hand-held blender.
Put the pan in the oven without a lid at 325°F (160°C) for about 2½-3 hours. Stir the vorschmack occasionally, until it becomes firm.
Serve the Vorschmack with oven baked potato, pickled cucumber, sour cream and the Marinated Beets.
Marinated Beets: It is important to remember to wash the beets well before boiling. Do not peel them or remove their stems; this will keep the color and taste intact. Cook the beets for about 35 minutes, until they are fork tender. Once cooked, chill with cold water, this will help to remove their skins. Next, make simple marinade. Mix together the red vine vinegar, honey, salt and black pepper. Whisk the ingredients together, then gently pour in olive oil while whisking at the same time. Add the beets to the marinade and put in the fridge for half an hour.