Mackerel, Horseradish Cream & Pickled Rhubarb

by Thyme Recipes 1 Feb 20

This dish is a delicate, nod towards spring ... Mackerel is the perfect start to a February dinner party or a Valentine’s meal, let your loved one know you are looking after their heart … this underrated yet delicious fish is packed with minerals and vitamins, and that magical substance Omega 3, the ‘good’ fat that plays such an important role in heart-health.  Be sure not to over-cook the fish, its firm creamy flesh and crispy skin will be elevated by the sharp flavours of rhubarb and the heat of horseradish.  Remember to grate your horseradish slowly, too much and it will overpower the fish, so this is an ingredient to use to taste; and if you don’t have really sharp knives in your kitchen, ask your fishmonger to fillet your fish for you.  


Serves 2

For the pickle:

For the horseradish:

Oven: 160°C/325°F/Gas mark 3


For the pickle:

  1. Place all the ingredients except the rhubarb in a pan and bring to the boil.
  2. Chop the rhubarb into chunks, about 2 cm long and place in a deep baking tray.
  3. When the vinegar has come to the boil pour over the rhubarb and cover with tin foil.
  4. Put the tray in the oven for around 8 minutess, or until the rhubarb is soft but holding its shape. Set aside to cool.

For the horseradish:

  1. Grate the horseradish at a 90° angle to stop any long tough strips occurring.
  2. Taste as you go, stopping when you have reached a level of heat you enjoy.
  3. Mix in the vinegar and sugar and cover the bowl allowing it to stand for 10 minutes before stirring through the cream.

For the mackerel:

  1. To fillet the mackerel, cut off the head, and with a sharp filleting knife, slice all the way down either side of the back bone from head to tail. Trim off the bones at the belly, and discard. Then as neatly as possible slice down either side of the bones running down the centre of the fillet, taking care not to slice through the skin.
  2. Heat your pan until it is hot. Coat the mackerel fillets in oil and season. Place skin side down in the hot pan and hold them there for a second to stop the fillets from curling up. Cook for 3-4 minutes on the skin side before flipping over for one more minute on the flesh side to finish. 

To plate:

  1. Arrange five or six pieces of rhubarb per plate and drizzle with the horseradish cream before topping with a mackerel fillet.