Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Mackerel with Warm Potato and Chorizo Salad

Rachel, Dublin

Over the last few years I've come to adore Mackerel, and this recipe, from Martin Shanahan's RTE series Martin's Mad about Fish, is one of my favourites.  While preparing this salad I was reminded that my love affair with Mackerel is a fairly recent phenomenon.  The smell of it cooking brought back wonderful memories of teenage holidays spent with Aoife and her family on Sherkin Island.  On our way to swim in Horseshoe Bay we would often look down from the cliff to see huge, shimmering shoals of mackerel so plentiful they could have almost leapt out of the sea into the frying pan.  Though at the time I wasn't interested in them when they did get to the pan.  I want to kick the teenage me for not appreciating what was on offer.

I have adapted Martin's recipe in various ways to suit the ingredients I have.  This time I used (for two) half a red onion, 8 cherry tomatoes, 1 green pepper, 200g cooking chorizo, 2 large potatoes and 6 mackerel fillets.  This is a quick midweek meal already but I made it even faster by making my microwave baked potatoes*.  During this time I got my other ingredients ready.  I boned my mackerel by cutting the central strip out of the fillets as this contains all the bones, you could ask your fishmonger to do this for you.  

I fried the chorizo and peppers on a medium heat to release the oil from chorizo.  Once the peppers were soft I added this mix to the onion and tomatoes in a bowl.  I then fried the potato pieces in the tasty red chorizo oil for a few minutes and added them to the bowl.  I turned the heat to high and cooked the mackerel for 2 minutes on each side.   It is important to note that you need to press the mackerel fillets down with a spatula for about 5-10 seconds immediately after placing them in the pan, this stops the skin from curling and helps cook them evenly.  I arranged a pile of the salad on each plate and topped with 3 fillets and a drizzle of dressing. 

Mackerel are coming in to season now and should be easy to find in your fishmonger.  I was very pleased to realise that, along with my Gubbeen Smoked Chorizo, the ingredients for this salad were almost entirely Irish in origin.  If I haven't quite convinced you to try mackerel then I do think this salad would work equally well with salmon or trout. 

*Microwaved baked potatoes are a saviour for anyone looking for quick midweek meal ideas.  Scrub your potato well, dry it and wrap it in a piece of kitchen paper. Microwave (individually) on high for 8 minutes for a large potato or 6 for smaller potatoes.  Test if they're done by giving them a squeeze, if they're done they'll feel soft.  If they're still firm cook for a further minute at a time testing again after each minute.


  1. Brings back such happy memories!

  2. Oh my goodness me, I think I've just found my dinner recipe!

  3. I hope you enjoyed it! You just reminded me of this recipe, think I might have to make it again tomorrow!