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Mackerel, horseradish and oyster sauce

Curing mackerel is easy and gives brilliant flavour. Coupled with oyster mayonnaise this dish is sensational.


To cure the mackerel
For the mackerel pâté
For the mackerel roll sponge
For the mackerel roll filling
  • cured mackerel pâté (made above)

  • 10 oyster leaves, finely chopped

  • small handful dill, finely chopped

For the dressing
For the cucumber and oyster mayonnaise
For the pan fried mackerel

Preparation method

  1. To cure the mackerel, place the cucumber, dill, horseradish, salt and sugar into a food processor and blend together. Place the mackerel fillets into a tray and pour the blended mixture over the top. Leave to cure for two hours in the fridge.

  2. Wash the cure off the mackerel fillets in running water. Set aside in the fridge until needed.

  3. For the mackerel pâté, heat a grill to a medium heat and place four cured mackerel fillets under for two minutes, they should come out slightly under-cooked and pink in the middle. Leave to cool. then peel the skin off and flake the meat into a food processor.

  4. Peel the skin off the cooled grilled mackerel fillets, and flake the meat into a food processor. Add the cream cheese, yoghurt and lemon juice and blend everything to a paste. Transfer the pâté to a bowl and refrigerate for two hours.

  5. For the mackerel roll sponge, preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3. Heat the butter and flour together in a pan, and stir until combined. Add the milk gradually, ladle by ladle, stirring constantly, until all the milk has been incorporated and the sauce is smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the egg yolks.

  6. Whisk the egg whites into stiff peaks and fold them into the mixture.

  7. Line a baking tray with an A4 sheet of parchment paper. Pour the sponge mix into the baking tray and spread the mixture out with a palate knife to the thickness of a pound coin. Sprinkle the parmesan over the top and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove the sponge from the oven and set aside to cool. Once cool, carefully remove the sponge from the parchment paper.

  8. For the mackerel roll filling, spread the mackerel pâté liberally over the sponge base and sprinkle over the oyster leaves and the dill.

  9. Roll the sponge to form a swiss roll shape.

  10. Wrap the roll in cling film and place into the fridge to chill for an hour.

  11. For the dressing, place the shallots into a pan and cover with the white wine and white wine vinegar, bring up to a simmer and cook for an hour or until all the liquid as gone. Leave to cool. Mix the pickled shallots with the rest of the dressing ingredients and season with a little salt.

  12. For the cucumber and oyster mayonnaise, blend the oysters, lemon juice and egg yolks in a food processor. Very slowly add the rapeseed oil whilst continuing to blend until a mayonnaise has formed. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spoon out the mayonnaise into a bowl and put in the fridge to keep cool.

  13. Blend the cucumbers, horseradish, sugar, dill, lemon juice, white wine vinegar and salt in a food processor. Then pass the mixture through a fine sieve and reserve the liquid.

  14. Place the oyster mayonnaise (reserving a spoonful for each serving), sieved cucumber mixture, horseradish cream, double cream and juice reserved from the oysters into a food processor and blend to the consistency of a sauce.

  15. For the mackerel, bring a little olive oil to up to heat in a frying pan and add the fillets skin side down, cook for three minutes or until just cooked through.

  16. To finish the mackerel pâté roll, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4, slice the roll into 4cm/1½in pieces and place onto a tray lined with parchment paper, heat them through in the oven for two minutes.

  17. Just before serving, gently heat the oyster cucumber sauce in a pan.

  18. To serve, spoon some of the oyster mayonnaise into each serving bowl, place the mackerel roll in the centre and place the mackerel fillet on top, finish with a drizzle of the dressing.

Over 2 hours preparation time

1 to 2 hours cooking time

Serves 4

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This recipe is from...

Great British Menu 40. South West Judging bbc_two Great British Menu

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