Main course: serves 4. Total time: 20 minutes, plus 2 hours poaching

This is a good way of cooking this fish; the fillets can be eaten as they are with perhaps a gooseberry sauce or mayonnaise on the side.


1 finely sliced lemon
1 onion, peeled and finely sliced
1 carrot, peeled and finely sliced
5 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
1 bottle white wine
3 tbsp cider vinegar3 tbsp groundnut oil


4 x 250g mackerel, heads off, gutted and washed
2 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp single cream
2 tbsp finely chopped chives
sea salt, black pepper,cayenne pepper
1 tsp sherry or cider vinegar
1 tbsp finely chopped shallot

Place all the ingredients for the marinade in a large cast-iron casserole, bring to a rolling boil, then immerse the mackerel in the marinade, cover with a lid, turn off the heat and leave to cool for several hours or overnight.

Remove the mackerel to a board, and carefully fillet them. Place the fillets in a large bowl and mash with a fork, then add the mayonnaise, the cream and chives, and blend together. Season with salt, black pepper and a little cayenne pepper, add the vinegar and chopped shallot and mix again. Cover and chill if not serving straight away, but bring back to room temperature before eating.