Pickled Mackerel with Mustard Sauce
4 large mackerel, filleted
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, crushed
2 tablespoons sea salt
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 bunch dill, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons Dijon or German mustard 1 tablespoon sugar
1 large egg yolk
5 fl oz (150 ml) good-quality olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice or white wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dill, finely chopped
Wash the mackerel fillets and pat dry with
kitchen paper. Prepare the curing mixture. Crush the peppercorns using a
pestle and mortar, or the back of a wooden spoon or rolling pin, and
combine with the salt and sugar.
Place one fillet of each pair skin side down, rub in an eighth of the
curing mixture, then cover with the chopped dill. Adjust the amount of
dill to your preference, but use a generous amount to achieve the
characteristic flavor of this recipe. Rub another eighth of the remaining
curing mixture into the corresponding fillet of each pair and place it
skin side up on its mate, forming 4 'sandwiches'. Lay these in a shallow
glass or earthenware dish, scattering over any remaining dill.
Cover with aluminum foil, then search for a suitable plate or inverted lid
with which to weigh down the mackerel - place on top a heavy stone or
brick from your garden, or any heavy object you can lay your hands on.
Leave the fish for at least 36 hours, or up to 4 days, in a cool place or
refrigerator, turning the fillets every 12 hours or so as they become
compressed and the curing mixture permeates them.
For the sauce, beat together the mustard, sugar and egg yolk and add the
oil. The sauce is easily made by hand, or you can use a food processor or liquidizer.
When you have added the lemon juice or white wine vinegar, check the taste
and add a grinding of pepper, if you like, before folding in the chopped
To serve, scrape off nearly all the dill and curing mixture (the odd
peppercorn and green of the dill forms an attractive fringe to the
slices). Using a very sharp knife, cut paper-thin slices across the
fillets. Serve the sauce in a separate dipping dish
Makes/Serves: Serves 4 to 6