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Mackerel with Cucumber and Borage
Mackerel with Cucumber and Borage
British
Main
Over 2 hours
Fish
Medium
Serves
2, or 4 as a Small Starter

Intense mackerel and cooling cucumber are a match made in heaven, a fact that chef Will Devlin shows off in this spectacular dish. Ultratex is a kind of thickening starch found in professional kitchens everywhere, you can pick some up online. If you're not too confident with your filleting skills, ask your fishmonger to do it for you — you'll need to reserve the deliciously fatty mackerel belly for the horseradish-spiked tartare.

Recipe courtesy of
Ingredients

Mackerel

  • 2 whole mackerel, boned and filleted along the belly (reserve)
  • 2 tbsp creamed horseradish
  • 1 tbsp chopped dill

Pickled Cucumber (will make more than this recipe needs but will last for a few weeks in a sealed jar)

  • 1 cucumber
  • 300g water
  • 200g white vinegar
  • 100g salt
  • 100g sugar
  • 1 tbsp of mixed juniper berries, peppercorns, coriander seed and star anise
  • 50g dill, chopped

Roasted Cucumber

  • 1 cucumber

Cucumber Sauce (makes more than this recipe needs)

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp of the cucumber pickling liquor
  • 12g of Ultratex

To Garnish

  • Dill sprigs
  • Borage flowers
Method
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Method
  1. To pickle the cucumber, finely slice the cucumber and pack into a glass jar suitable for preserving. Heat all of the remaining ingredients together (except the dill) until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Cool slightly, stir in the dill and pour over the cucumber. Gently shake to mix and leave to pickle for a few hours.
  2. To prepare the mackerel, lightly salt the mackerel fillets and place in the fridge. Finely chop the reserved belly, combine with the creamed horseradish and dill and reserve in the fridge until ready to serve.
  3. For the roasted cucumber, top and tail the cucumber and peel, reserving the peel for the cucumber sauce. Slice in half lengthways and then in half again so you have four pieces. Set aside. 
  4. For the sauce, chop and juice the cucumber and reserved peel from the roasted cucumber to make 240ml of juice. Season and add 1 tbsp of pickling liquor from the pickled cucumber.
  5. Add the juice to a blender and blend on low. Add the Ultratex, then slowly increase the speed until you have a solid vortex. The sauce will start thickening from the bottom first so keep blending until it is thickened throughout.
  6. When ready to serve, lightly oil the mackerel fillets and fry skin-side down until the skin crisps. Lightly salt the cut-sides of the cucumber pieces and sear in a hot pan for a good char.
  7. Place the roasted cucumber and mackerel pieces on a plate with a spoonful of the creamed horseradish and mackerel belly and a few slices of pickled cucumber. Pour over a spoonful of the cucumber sauce and garnish with dill sprigs and borage flowers.

The Pass was created to help the many people now struggling to feed themselves and their families as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. If you like or use this recipe, please consider making a small donation to Hospitality Action to help those whose livelihoods have all but disappeared.

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