Isn’t it a joy when you’re generously given home-grown produce from friends and can bring it together with your own work, in this case my hot smoked mackerel? And a memorable meal is made writes Sandra Tate…Hot smoked mackerel I made a few days ago, wrapped in kitchen parchment, it sat in the fridge until Fran arrived with a trug filled with her new potatoes, parsley, chives, broad beans, and more. To add to that I always have a basket full of multi coloured eggs from Sandra’s motley crew of special breed chickens. This delightful meal was the result of 20 minutes cooking time.But first…
Curing & smoking mackerel:I ask for my mackerel to be cleaned and heads removed – I like to hot smoke them whole rather than filleted, but have no need for a face on it. For two large, very fresh mackerel I mixed a cure of 50g sea salt mixed with 30g natural sugar. Rub this into the cavity and over the skin, drop them into a freezer bag or container and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes. Now rinse well and dry completely inside and out with kitchen paper.
Set the Bradley Smoker to a cabinet temperature of 80°C/180°F and drop half a dozen Pacific Blend or Oak bisquettes into the stack. Have the cabinet up to temperature and full of smoke before placing the fish in on a wire rack. I leave the top vent open for light smoking and the fish should be ready after an hour. Test for internal temp of 72°C if your not sure they’re ready. Allow to cool completely and refrigerate if you’re not using immediately.
Hot Smoked Mackerel with Poached Egg, Potatoes, Broad Beans & Herbs – serves 4
Carefully remove the 4 fillets from 2 hot smoked mackerel, removing the pin bones with tweezers, lay on a sheet of foil and set aside. Boil small new potatoes (I allow 5 per person, you decide according to your appetites) until almost tender when tested with a skewer. Now add 2 handfuls of broad beans and cook for a further 2-3 minutes then drain and add a good knob of butter. Crush lightly with the back of a fork and scatter in a handful of chopped flat leaf parsley and chives. Season with salt and pepper.
Place the mackerel fillets under a hot grill and cook 2-3 minutes each side. As the mackerel cooks, bring 6cm water to the boil in a pan with a tablespoon of white wine vinegar, once you have a rolling boil crack in 4 eggs and poach for a scant 2 minutes then remove on a slotted spoon and stand on kitchen paper.
Divide herbs, beans and potato mix between 4 plates, top each with a sizzling mackerel fillet and a poached egg. So simple, so very good!