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Whole baked mackerel with spiced cherry sauce

Angela Clutton

Mackerel served with a quick sauce of pitted cherries cooked down with red wine and spices 

Recipe Meta


5 mins


10 mins






  • 300g cherries
  • 1 star anise
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp black mustard seeds
  • 100ml red wine
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar or cherry vinegar
  • 4 mackerel, gutted
  • Olive oil, for rubbing
  • Thyme, for stuffing


Halve the cherries and discard the stones. Put the cherries into a small saucepan with the rest of the ingredients and season. Partially cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 5-10 mins as the fruit collapses and the liquid reduces. Crush the fruit with a potato masher if you want to give the cherries a helping hand. It is ready when the consistency of a nice mix of still-visible fruit and juices just running.

Take the lid off to reduce the liquid more if needed. Check the seasoning.

Preheat the oven to 200C. Slash the skins of four gutted mackerel, rub with olive oil and salt, then stuff sprigs of thyme into the body of the fish. Bake for 20 mins and serve with the cherry sauce.

Image: Kim Lightbody

Where to buy these ingredients

Borough Market Online

If you can’t make it to the Market, Borough Market Online offers a wide selection of traders’ produce, delivered direct to your door.