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:

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

Mackerel Pate:

  • 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.
  • Put the mackerel flesh in a bowl add the butter, crème fraiche, horseradish, and paprika to taste.
  • Then combine all the ingredients with a fork, till the mackerel has broken up into fine strands and season (similar to a meat rillette).
  • 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:

  • Heat the water up to boiling point with everything except the vinegar.
  • As soon as the water boils remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  • 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