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Mackerel in oil with vinegar and shallots

Serves 4-6

This simple dish was served as part of a mezze selection at dinner one night in Istanbul, but it was labelled "tuna". Well, I guess it's from the same family, but the size of the little fillets gave the game away somewhat. Anyway, it was simple and delicious and just goes to show how many possibilities there are with the humble mackerel.

4 mackerel, filleted, skinned and boned
4 large shallots, peeled, halved and finely chopped
100ml red wine vinegar
Approx 250ml olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Freshly chopped parsley or coriander, to garnish

Cut the mackerel lengthways down the centre then cut in half. Put the shallots in a saucepan with the vinegar and simmer gently for 2-3 minutes. Add the olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil then drop in the pieces of mackerel, adding more oil if necessary to ensure they are covered.

Cover with a lid and cook for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and leave to cool. Garnish with the chopped parsley or coriander.

Serve the mackerel at room temperature on its own or with a salad, bread or as part of a selection of starters.