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4 3/8 pounds Catfish
7/8 cup Vegetable oil
3 large Yellow onions -- thinly sliced
2 Bay leaves
1 teaspoon Dry dill
1 teaspoon Peppercorns
1 1/4 cups Wine vinegar -- plus
1 2/3 cups Water -- to 2 1/2 cups
Salt -- to taste
Slice the fish into 1- to 1 1/4-inch steaks, rub with salt and dribble with lemon juice; set aside and allow the meat to rest for 20 minutes.
Heat the oil in a medium-height frying pan; dry each catfish steak with a paper towel, dust with flour (shake off any excess) and fry the steaks until golden-brown -- the heat should be moderate so that the oil remains clear. Arrange fried steaks tightly in a marinating dish (i.e., a dish with a tight cover -- otherwise your refrigerator will smell) and alow to cool.
Drop the sliced onions into hot oil and fry until the onions turn glassy, but not browned -- or about 6 minutes. Add vinegar and water (the ratio really depends on how sour you like it), de-glazing the pan; add dill, peppercorns and bay leaves; bring to boil and cook for 1 minute. Remove the pan from heat and alow the liquid to cool. Pour cooled liquid over the fish, cover and store in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours before serving. Marinated fish will keep for several days if kept refrigerated.