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Cornish mackerel with oysters, mussels, winkles & samphire

British seafood is celebrated to the full here, with oysters, mussels and winkles alongside mackerel

Ingredients

For the smoked mackerel pâté
For the muffins
For the tartare of mackerel
For the oyster mayonnaise
For the potato salad
Beer batter for the mussels
For the mussels and winkles
For the velouté
For the samphire
For the grilled mackerel
To serve
  • drizzle lemon olive oil

Preparation method

  1. First prepare the mackerel. Fillet two of the mackerel. Trim one set of fillets for the grilled mackerel, and set aside in the fridge until needed. Skin the other set of fillets and cut into 5mm/ ½ in dice for the tartare. Set aside in the fridge until needed. Reserve the bones from the two mackerel, to smoke. Leave the third mackerel whole, ready to be smoked.

  2. For the smoked mackerel pâté, set up a stove top smoker with smoking chips of your choice and place over a medium heat. (CAUTION: smoking generates a lot of smoke. Cook in a well-ventilated area, and open the smoker outside if possible.) Score the whole mackerel, rub it with the grapeseed oil and season generously with salt. Once the smoker is smoking, place the mackerel inside along with the bones from the two filleted mackerel. Smoke for 10 minutes, turn the mackerel and continue to smoke for a further 10 minutes or when gently prised, the flesh lifts away from the bones.

  3. Add the two native oysters to the smoker for two minutes.

  4. Remove the mackerel, oysters and bones from the smoker. Place the smoked oysters in a bowl with the lemon olive oil and set aside in the fridge. Set aside the smoked bones for the velouté.

  5. Rest the smoked mackerel at room temperature for five minutes, then carefully lift off the skin, remove the flesh from the bones and place in a bowl. Pick through the mackerel to ensure no small bones remain.

  6. Add the grated horseradish, capers, celery salt, lemon juice and crème fraiche and gently fold to create a loose and textured pâté. Cover and set aside in the fridge until needed.

  7. For the muffins, warm the milk, sugar, butter and yeast in a pan to roughly body temperature (37C/99F). Put the flour and salt in a bowl, then pour in the warmed milk mixture. Mix the ingredients together and once it begins to form a dough, knead the mixture to a smooth dough. Set the dough aside in a warm place to prove for an hour.

  8. After an hour knead the dough a couple of times to knock it back. Lightly dust a work surface with the cornmeal, and with a rolling pin, roll the dough out to 1cm/½in thick. Cut out 2 x 4cm/1½in discs. Prove for another 10 minutes. Heat a non-stick pan over a low heat and add the muffins. Gently toast for five minutes each side, until they are golden-brown and cooked through. Set aside covered with a cloth.

  9. For the tartare, sprinkle the diced cucumber with salt and set aside for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, rinse the cucumber thoroughly, squeeze it out, then season with the vinegar and sugar and set aside until needed.

  10. For the oyster mayonnaise, blend the oysters, egg yolk, mustard, lemon juice and an ice cube in a blender, to a smooth purée. Gradually add the grapeseed oil, drop by drop, while the blender is running, to create a light mayonnaise. Set aside in the fridge.

  11. To finish the tartare, mix 100g/3½oz of diced mackerel with 60g/2oz of the oyster mayonnaise. Mix in the cucumber, capers, chives and set aside until needed.

  12. For the potato salad, cook the new potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain and set aside to cool, peel the potatoes then cut into a 5mm/½in dice.

  13. Whisk the egg yolk, mustard and lemon juice briefly. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and while whisking vigorously, drizzle in the grapeseed oil to form a mayonnaise. Mix the diced potato with enough mayonnaise to bind. Add the spring onions.

  14. For the beer batter, whisk together the flour with 165ml/6oz of the lager. Add the sugar, salt and yeast and whisk to a smooth paste. Add the remaining lager, whisk until homogenous and set aside in a warm place.

  15. For the mussels and winkles, heat a heavy based pan over a medium heat, add a splash of water followed by the mussels and winkles. Cover with a lid and steam for a minute or until the mussels have opened. Drain the shellfish, reserving the liquor. Discard any mussels that have not opened.

  16. Remove the mussels and winkles from their shells. Trim the tiny hard disc from the winkles’ ‘feet’. Set aside, covered in the liquor.

  17. For the velouté, gently fry half the onion, half the leek and half the celery with 15g/½oz butter and a pinch of salt. Add the smoked mackerel bones reserved from above, cover with the milk and 300ml/10fl oz water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain through a colander, then through a fine sieve, reserving the liquid. Gently fry the remaining onion, leek, celery and all the potato in the remaining butter, with a pinch of salt, until tender. Add the simmered milk, bring to the boil and cook for 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender and blend to a smooth, velvety velouté. Set aside until ready to serve.

  18. For the samphire, blanch the samphire in boiling water for 10 seconds. Drain, and immediately refresh in a bowl of iced water. Drain again, and set aside for serving.

  19. For the grilled mackerel, just before serving heat a grill to hot. Season the mackerel fillets with salt, and brush lightly with oil. Grill, skin side up, until cooked.

  20. Just before serving, preheat the vegetable oil for the mussels and winkles to 180C/355F in a deep- sided, heavy based pan, or alternatively use a deep fat fryer (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended). Dip the mussels into the beer batter to lightly coat them and deep fry until golden-brown. Heat a saucepan to a medium heat and add two teaspoons of the reserved mussel/winkle liquor, then add the winkles. Heat them thoroughly before serving, add the lemon olive oil to finish.

  21. Before serving, gently warm the smoked oysters under the grill, halve the muffin and toast it. Heat the velouté to near boiling.

  22. To serve, place half a toasted muffin on the side of each serving plate. Place a spoonful of smoked mackerel pâté onto it, and top with a smoked oyster. Spoon some potato salad next to the muffin, add some samphire and top with a fillet of grilled mackerel. Drizzle with the winkles and liquor and top with the deep-fried mussels. Add a spoonful of the mackerel tartare to each plate and place a cup of velouté by the side. Drizzle the velouté with lemon olive oil and serve.

Less than 30 mins preparation time

Over 2 hours cooking time

Serves 2

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This recipe is from...

Great British Menu 45. Banquet bbc_two Great British Menu

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