Grilled mackerel always seems to satisfy the whole family, writes Michel Roux Jr in his latest column for Decanter.com. See this tasty recipe, with extra wine matches from master sommelier Clément Robert MS.

Pan seared mackerel recipe with cucumber and paprika tzatziki

Serves 4

  • 1 cucumber
  • 6 fillets of mackerel
  • 100g of clotted cream
  • 1 spring onion
  • 2 leaves of fresh mint
  • 10cl of white vinegar
  • 5cl of water
  • 50g of sugar
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • A pinch of paprika
  • Salt, pepper and sugar

For the marinade:

  • 20g of salt per kg
  • 2g of sugar per kg

Method

  1. Marinate your fillets of mackerel in salt and sugar 45 minutes prior cooking them as this will help tenderize and begin to cook the flesh.
  2. Peel the cucumber and cut into two length-wise.
  3. With one half of the cucumber make long tagliatelle-like strips with help of a mandolin or a vegetable peeler.
  4. To pickle these you simply need to bring the water, the vinegar and sugar to the boil and pour over your cucumber strips.
  5. Once cooled down, you should have some tangy cucumber tagliatelle and can discard the remaining liquid.
  6. Cut the other half of the cucumber into nice chunks and sear them in a frying pan with a tablespoon of olive oil until golden brown.
  7. In the same heated pan with, sear your filets of mackerel with another tablespoon of olive oil until the skin is nice and crispy.
  8. Set aside the fillets until they are cold before cutting into bite size pieces.
  9. Season the clotted cream with salt, pepper, paprika and finely chopped mint.
  10. Slice the spring onion as finely as possible and sprinkle over the plate.
  11. Toasted bread does miracles with this dish.

Not only is this oily fish simple to prepare, it is also one of the cheapest on the market and oozes with taste.

Mackerel can be cooked in many different ways but my favourite is to pan sear the filets on the skin side only to keep all the moisture in the flesh. The pickled and seared cucumbers will bring crunch and a sharp kick ideal for this fatty fish.

More wines to drink with mackerel by Michel Roux Jr

Pouilly-Fumé “Les Cascadelles”, 2014

With tangy and sweet gooseberry notes, citrus aromas from beautifully floral orange blossom and citrus fruit fantastically cut through the oiliness of the mackerel and work perfectly with the creaminess of the tsatsiki. RRP: £12.00 from Majestic Wine

Condrieu E. Guigal, 2012

Pears, peaches and pineapples bring a complex balance of sweet, sour and tang to this wine. Together with the smoky paprika and the velvety tstastiki the combination provides a real taste sensation to this dish. RRP: £35.00 from Majestic Wine / The Wine Club $53.98 IB (California)

Pol Roger Brut Champagne, 2004

Fresh and crisp, the Pol Roger Brut is a real classic and always well received. On the nose it is elegant, with hints of white flowers, quince and something of a brioche aroma. The warm roasted aromas of the Champagne work synonymously with the grilled mackerel for a.
RRP: £58.00 Berry Bros and Rudd / Sotheby’s Retail $99.95 (New York)

More about the wines

A Condrieu is not an obvious choice of wine with mackerel, however with the smokiness of the paprika and the creaminess of the tzatziki it’s a real match made in heaven.

The Pouilly-Fumé ‘Les Cascadelles’ 2014 is packed with classic Sauvignon Blanc flavours that are sublime with the minerality and sapidity of this dish. This reasonably priced wine is a must.

This E. Guigal 2012 is not the cheapest of wines but definitely worth every penny.

Why not try and make bite size versions of this dish for an exquisite aperitif and splash out with a 2004 Pol Roger Brut Champagne. This fresh bubbly is full of roasted aromas is a perfect combination for the grilled mackerel.