This morning, as I was lying in bed with a face mask on and a coffee in hand, the TV caught my eye. What was that? Oh, nothing but some smoked mackerel and a potato salad taunting me from inside the box. Immediately I knew I had to have mackerel, and so set about recreating the magic in my own kitchen.
Mackerel is such an underrated, beautiful fish. Salty and rich, affordable and best of all sustainable. The tangy salad marries so well with the richness of the fish, providing some much needed zing. Even better is that this is easy as pie to make. Well, easier than pie.
- 4 smoked mackerel fillets
- 500g new potatoes, boiled and cut into quarters
- 4 spring onions, roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons of capers, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
- 3 lemons
- 1 ½ tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
- 4 thin slices of butter
- Watercress to garnish
- Freshly ground pepper
Prepare the mackerel by placing each fillet in the middle of a sheet of tin foil, squeeze the juice of half a lemon on each fillet, and place a bit of butter and the half lemon on top. Fold the sides and the top of the tin foil together to make a sort of sealed bag, and set aside on a baking tray ready for later.
Once the potatoes are completely cool, add the mint, thyme, onions, capers and the zest of one lemon. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon, the mayonnaise and mustard and give it a good mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 180°c and place the rack in the upper third.
Put the prepared mackerel in the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Serve on a bed of the potato salad, with an extra squeeze from the lemons the fish has cooked with. Garnish with watercress and a sprinkle of pepper.