Raw mackerel with apple, celery and bacon

Raw mackerel with apple, celery and bacon

By
From
Everyday Seafood
Serves
4 as a starter

Eating mackerel raw, straight out of the sea, is something everyone should try. The texture and flavour is unique, indeed I would go so far as saying that flavourwise mackerel is the best fish to eat raw. Marrying it with apple, celery and bacon is really successful. This same dish works well with salmon, trout or scallops.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 very fresh large mackerel, filleted, pin-boned and skinned
4 rashers smoked streaky bacon
1 eating apple, such as braeburn
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
2 teaspoons chopped chervil
2 teaspoons chopped chives
3 tablespoons Mayonnaise
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the pickled celery

Quantity Ingredient
3 celery sticks, de-stringed (with a peeler)
75ml white wine
75ml white wine vinegar
75ml water
75g caster sugar
1 teaspoon fennel seeds

To assemble and serve

Quantity Ingredient
4 slices wholemeal or seeded bread, for toasting
a handful watercress, stalks removed
cold-pressed rapeseed oil, to drizzle
lemon wedges

Method

  1. First, prepare the pickled celery. Finely slice the celery and set aside. Heat the wine, wine vinegar, water, sugar and fennel seeds in a pan to dissolve the sugar. Add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Take the pan off the heat and add the celery. Cover with cling film, pushing it down onto the surface to keep the celery fully submerged in the liquor. Leave to cool.
  2. Preheat your grill to the highest setting. Lay the bacon on the grill rack and grill on both sides until crispy. When cool enough to handle, chop the bacon and set aside.
  3. Using a very sharp knife and a clean board, slice the mackerel into 5 mm thick slices. Peel, quarter and core the apple, then cut into small dice.
  4. Put the mackerel and diced apple into a bowl with the shallot, bacon and herbs. Toss everything together well and add the mayonnaise. Mix well again and taste for seasoning – a grinding of pepper will probably be welcome, but the bacon may well provide enough salt.
  5. To serve, drain the pickled celery. Toast the bread on both sides and place on the serving plates. Share the mackerel mixture equally between the slices of toast. Scatter the watercress over the plates and put a pile of pickled celery on one side.
  6. Finish with a drizzle of rapeseed oil and serve with lemon wedges.
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