Wednesday 6 May 2015

Devilled Mackerel with Tomato, Onion and Mint Salad

An early start today with a 6am rendezvous on South Shields pier with a spinning rod and a shiny spinner. Mackerel season is in full force and I love this fish with a passion. Cheap, delicious and plentiful, it is the fish for frugal times.

Trying to catch them is another matter. They should be the easiest fish in the ocean to catch when they are in season. 3 hours of spinning and 2 dropped mackerel later, I packed away veritably fishless. But thanks to a very generous Graham Slesser and his daughter, the best fishermen in the world, and a couple more generous chaps alongside me, I came home heavy laden with 8 fat mackerel. And before you ask, and despite the temptation to pretend to be the caveman returning with his meat for the family, I told the truth to my girls.

Now to the treatment - devilled mackerel. A beautifully rich fish to eat, the combination of spices in this recipe cuts through the oiliness to create the most delicious of fish suppers. Devilling is a combination of 'British spices' from our East India Trading days, and our Victorian ancestors utilised this combination of cayenne, mustard, paprika and coriander to perfection. It needs nothing other than a simple salad of tomatoes, onions and mint and a few crisped potatoes.

This is typical Rick Stein grub, the kind of simple pleasurable food that gets both of us excited and one that I am proud to reproduce with a few tweaks from his 'Seafood Lovers Guide' for your pleasure. But the main thanks go to real fishermen, Graham and his daughter who despite fighting out a 2-2 draw became true champions in my grateful and greedy eyes...

Devilled Mackerel with Tomato, Onion and Mint Salad
Feeds 4

4x mackerel, gutted, cleaned and trimmed
20g butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp English mustard
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp teaspoon paprika
1 tsp teaspoon ground coriander
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper

For the tomato and onion salad
4 onions, thinly sliced
1 small onion thinly sliced
A handful of mint
1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

1 - Heat a grill to high.
2 - Slash the mackerel skin at 1cm intervals from the head to the tail, ensuring you do not go through to the bone.
3 - Melt the butter in a shallow pan. Remove and stir in the sugar, spices, vinegar and plenty of salt and pepper to make a paste. Turn the mackerel in the paste ensuring it enters the slashes you made as well as the cavity.
4 - Transfer to the grill pan and grill for 5 minutes each side until blistered and fragrant.
5 - To make the tomato and onion salad, bash the mint in a pestle and mortar then stir in the olive oil, lemon juice and a little seasoning. Arrange the tomato and onion on a plate and pour over the dressing.


Ed Bruske said...

great recipe, David. We need all the mackerel recipes we can get.

Chef Jeena said...

This is the kind of recipe that I totally love!

David you could cook this for me anytime and I would happily come back for a second helping, really delicious.

I have been fishing a few times and funnily enough the only fish I caught was a mackerel, it was some years back now mind but I cooked it and it is something I will always remember. :-)

Helen said...

I too am a huge mackerel fan - for the same reasons. This is a bit of a girly thing to say but they are just so pretty too. I bet that robust fish stands up really well to a good devilling, I can't believe I've not tried it. Thanks :)

Unknown said...

Love the recipe, love mackerel, just had some but feel guilty I didn't catch my own though! Nice catch David, makes it taste even better.

Helen Anderson said...

Loved it! What do you mean you didn't catch them yourself? ;-)

From one of the Girls

David Hall said...

Ed - Thanks and here here
Jeena - It should be simple to catch but I must be rubbish! At least I know how to cook the things!
Helen - it isn't girly, they are pretty - pretty delicious...groan
Ian - next lesson perhaps? :o)
Helen - love ya x

Unknown said...

Fabulous recipe for a great fish!

Cynthia said...

I've never had fresh mackerel before. I'd love to try this one day.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Love this application David. It sounds so delicious. It may work for a land locked salmon we have here called Kokanaee.

Seema said...

Your recipe looks so yummy, I am going to try it soon.

Here is a very easy Indian recipe of ''Masala fried Mackerel''s

Mackerels - 5
Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt- to taste
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala/curry powder - a pinch
Curry leaves - a few

Make a paste of the powders with a bit of water and smear on the fish. Shallow fry in hot oil along with the curry leaves till cooked.

Drain on tissue paper, transfer to a platter and squeeze lemon juice on top!!

Best regards.

♥Rosie♥ said...

You couldn't get more fresh than line caught mackerel by your own hands David. Great recipe too :0)

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