There are loads of mackerel in English waters in the summer, and they’re easy to catch. Sousing – soaking in a spiced pickling liquid – is a good way to prepare them. The souse here is slightly sweet/sour, which is a good foil for the rich fish.
- Yield: 6 Servings
- 6 mackerel fillets
- 2 tsp salt
- boiled new potatoes to serve
- 1 lemon
- 1 orange
- 100 g shallots, thinly sliced
- 70 g carrot, halved lengthways and thinly sliced
- 70 g fennel, thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 40 g caster sugar
- 10 white peppercorns
- 20 coriander seeds
- 1 dried red chilli
- 1 star anise
- 6 bay leaves
- 150 ml cider vinegar
How to Make It
- Lay the mackerel fillets in a large flat dish and sprinkle salt over both sides. Spread out the fillets in a single layer, cover and leave for 3–4 hours.
- With a peeler, cut thin strips of peel from the lemon and orange, then squeeze out the juice.
- Put all the souse ingredients, with the lemon and orange peel and juice, in a stainless-steel pan. Add 100 ml water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 3 minutes, then remove from the heat. Allow to cool.
- Drain off any liquid from the fish. Pour over the cool souse. Shake the dish to get the liquid everywhere, then cover and refrigerate for 12 hours.
- Serve the fish with some of the souse vegetables and boiled new potatoes.