Cured Grilled Mackerel with Dill Mustard Potatoes

On my once a month visit to ‘the land of my fathers’, Cornwall I will not only be taking a boat out, similar to this, to fish for line caught (well I won’t be swimming after the little beggars) Mackerel but will also be using this recipe as my guide. Sweden have some funny ideas when it comes to eating fish – take Surströmming for instance… please take it… far far away. 
Serving Surströmming

Surströmming is a fermented Herring and serious studies have been down that denounce it as one of the most putrid food smells on earth,  more so even than the similarly fermented fish dishes of Korean Hongeohoe and Japan Kusaya.
But back to the Mackerel…mmm

I had some leftover dill mustard sauce from a previous meal, so I was inspired to cook this dish by a recent trip to Stockholm, Sweden. While I was there, I ate a lot of herring done three different ways; raw, pickled and fried. Pickled herring involves first curing the herring in salt to extract moisture, and then pickling in a vinegar mixture to add a sweet and sour flavour. Curing also helps to remove some of the fishiness.

Mackerel, like herring, is an oily fish and good-value-for-money in the UK. Oily fish has lots of good health benefits, but tend to degrade very quickly. So I cured the mackerel in a salt and sugar mixture first before grilling it to remove some its fishiness. Here I’ve served the mackerel with new potatoes tossed in a sweet and sour dill mustard sauce. An easy, cheap AND healthy meal to get you through the week.

What you need

Makes enough for 2
4 boneless mackerel fillets
3 Tablespoons sea salt
3 Tablespoons sugar
250g (or half pound) new potatoes
Salt & pepper

For the dill mustard sauce
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon honey
Quarter cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon finely chopped dill

dill mustard sauce

What to do

Combine salt and sugar, spread evenly over mackerel to cover the entire fillet. Place in fridge to cure for at least one hour, up to overnight.

Remove mackerel from fridge around 1 hour before cooking. Gently wash off salt and sugar, and pat dry with paper towels.

Boil water in large pot with teaspoon of salt, add potatoes and cook for about 10mins until tender. Drain and return potatoes to pot to steam for another 5mins.

Combine mustard, lemon juice and honey in a small bowl. Slowly pour in oil while whisking until an emulsion ? has formed, then stir in dill.

Toss potatoes in a couple of spoonfuls of dill mustard sauce until well coated. Season to taste with salt & pepper.

Cook mackerel under oven on grill setting or on a BBQ for about 5mins until cooked. Remove from heat and season with pepper (it should be salty enough already).

Serve immediately with potato salad on the side.

cured grilled mackerel

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