Mackerel fillets ‘cooked’ in vinegar then balanced with a sweet salad
Mackerel fillets are ‘cooked’ in vinegar and then partnered with a salad of pineapple and cucumber whose sweetness will balance out the sour notes of the sousing. This dish has a lively bounce of flavours. If your mackerel fillets are small—or your guests likely to be particularly hungry—double the quantities of the fish and its sousing. Buttery new potatoes are the perfect accompaniment.
4 mackerel fillets
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 sprigs of dill
250ml white wine vinegar or vermouth vinegar
1 small red onion, finely sliced into half moons
1 bay leaf
1 tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp black peppercorns
½ pineapple (approx 500g)
1 ridge cucumber
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp red chilli, finely chopped
2 tbsp mint, chopped
Place the mackerel fillets skin-side down in a shallow dish. Rub the oil into the flesh and sit the dill on top. Put the vinegar, onion, bay, coriander seeds, peppercorns and a pinch of salt in a saucepan and bring to a low boil. Pour over the fish, making sure it is covered. Leave to cool, then cover with clingfilm and leave in the fridge for at least six hours, or overnight. Remove from the fridge an hour before serving.
For the salad, slice the pineapple into rings about 1cm thick. Run a knife around the inside edge of each to remove the skin and eyes. Cut out the core of each slice, Cut each ring in half. Get a large frying pan hot on the stove—don’t add any oil—and char the pineapple pieces for around 2 mins each side until nicely browned. Set aside.
Cut the cucumber in half along its length. Scoop out the seeds. Dice the cucumber and put into a mixing bowl. Lift the red onion slices out of the sousing juice and add those to the cucumber. Dice the charred pineapple and add along with the olive oil, chilli, mint, and 4 tbsp of the sousing juice from the mackerel. Salt liberally and mix.
To serve, lift the mackerel fillets out of the sousing juice and arrange on plates. Grind some pepper over and serve with the pineapple salad alongside.
Recipe: Angela Clutton