Thursday, 19 June 2008

Spiced mackerel in cider

Since I've finished the recipe sections of the book I have the luxury of delving into my cookery books to decide what to cook. I was looking for some ideas of what to do with yesterday's mackerel haul and came up with this recipe from Rick Stein's Taste of the Sea which was first published in 1995 - 13 years ago!

I didn’t have any pickling spice so just substituted a few ingredients from the storecupboard and it worked out fine. Not hugely popular with my other half though who wasn't terribly taken with the idea of cold fish.

Stein remarks how cheap the recipe is but I suppose had the luxury of being able to pick up mackerel for next to nothing where he lived (still does, I think) in Padstow. In those days mackerel was dirt cheap. It's still a reasonably thrifty recipe though.

Spiced mackerel in cider
Serves 4

500 ml cider
1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
Sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 stick of celery or a couple of fennel stalks cut into 2 or 3 pieces
1 tsp whole coriander seeds
1/4 tsp crushed chillies
2.5 cm cube of peeled fresh ginger, sliced
4 large mackerel fillets
A few chopped fennel or dill leaves

Put all the ingredients except the mackerel in a saucepan, add 100ml of water, bring to the boil, turn the heat down and simmer very gently for 30 minutes. Put the fish, skin side upwards in a shallow pan, pour over the infused cider and bring back to the boil. As soon as the surface starts to bubble take the pan off the heat, leave to cool and refrigerate overnight. Remove the fillets from the pan and place in a serving dish. Strain the liquid through a sieve into a bowl or jug. Pick out a few of the carrot and shallot slices and arrange them over the fish then pour over the strained liquid. Serve each fillet of fish with a little of the liquid spooned over the top and sprinkled with a few snipped fennel or dill leaves This goes well with a cucumber and herb salad and new potatoes.

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