Mackerel Pate with Cucumber Pickle

Recipe by Simon Hulstone
Try this deliciously light, pâté recipe from Simon Hulstone, chef proprietor of the Michelin starred Torquay restaurant, The Elephant.
Photo credit: David Griffin - Great British Chefs

INGREDIENTS

Poaching Liquor:

  • 2 shallots peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 leek (white part) washed and finely sliced
  • 2 celery sticks washed and finely sliced
  • Garlic clove peeled and crushed
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 4 Black peppercorns
  • 3 - 4 fresh parsley stalks
  • 1 kilo turbot or sole bones washed and all blood removed (chopped)
  • 200ml dry white wine
  • 2 litres of cold water
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 50ml olive oil

Mackerel Pate:

  • 4x 150g mackerel fillets pin boned and skin left on
  • 75g whipped butter
  • 2 - 3 tbsp crème fraiche
  • ½ tsp finely grated horseradish
  • Smoked paprika to taste
  • Salt

Cucumber Pickle:

  • 1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 600ml water
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 cardamom pod
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp caraway seeds toasted
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • Small bay leaf
  • 1 Sprig of tarragon
  • 30g salt
  • 50g Chardonnay vinegar

METHOD

Poaching Liquor:

  1. In a heavy based pan on medium heat, sweat off the shallots and garlic without colour.
  2. Add the bay leaf, parsley, peppercorns and fish bones.
  3. Allow to cook for 2 - 3 mins, add the wine and reduce until almost dry.
  4. Add cold water and bring to the simmer, simmer for 20 minutes, skimming constantly.
  5. Remove from the heat and leave to stand for 20 minutes.
  6. Add lemon juice and pass through a sieve, check seasoning and store in the fridge.

Mackerel Pate:

  1. In a wide pan, poach the mackerel fillets in your poaching liquor until cooked. Once cooked, discard the cooking liquor and separate the flesh from the mackerel skin.
  2. Put the mackerel flesh in a bowl add the butter, crème fraiche, horseradish, and paprika to taste.
  3. Then combine all the ingredients with a fork, till the mackerel has broken up into fine strands and season (similar to a meat rillette).
  4. You want the mixture to be dry enough so you can quenelle it later on. If it isn’t just add a little more crème fraiche. Cover and chill.

Cucumber Pickle:

  1. Heat the water up to boiling point with everything except the vinegar.
  2. As soon as the water boils remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  3. When the liquor is cold add the vinegar, and put the sliced cucumbers into a kilner and cover with the vinegar mix. Leave until required, allowing longer with improve the taste.

Once ready to serve, quenelle the pâté and serve with the pickled cucumber