P O T T E D  S M O K E D  M A C K E R E L

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes to clarify the butter

Serves: 6

Season: Mackerel is in season from June until

October

285 g smoked mackerel

300 g unsalted butter, softened (including 220 g

to clarify)

1/2 small red onion

1 small garlic clove, peeled

15 g fresh corinader

1 lime

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Remove the skin from the mackerel and run your fingers along the flesh to check for any hidden pin bones. 

Use two forks to flake the mackerel into smallish pieces.  Place 40 g butter into a small saucepan.  Peel and finely chop the red onion.  Peel and crush the garlic into a paste with a little salt in a mortar.  Add the chopped red onion and garlic to the butter.  Cook gently for 2 minutes, without letting them colour.  The trick here is to let the heat of the butter alone cook the red onion and garlic.  This gentle cooking of the onion will help to retain a little texture whilst eliminating the bitter raw onion flavour.  Combine another 40 g butter with the mackerel in a bowl and blend with a fork to form a coarse paste.  Add the softened onion and garlic to the mackerel and stir to combine.  Wash the coriander and blot dry with kitchen paper.  Finely chop the leaves and thin stems.  Fold into the mackerel.  Squeeze the lime and pour over the juice.  Season with sea salt and pepper.  Spoon the mackerel into small ramekins and smooth the tops.  

Place the remaining butter in a heat-proof cup and into a low oven, about 38°C / 100°F / gas 1/4.  Heat gently until the butter melts and the milk curds separate to form a thick white layer on the bottom.  Remove from the oven, and using a spoon, ladle 2-3 tblsp of the clear, golden butter over the top of each ramekin.  Allow the butter to cool and harden at room temperature.

Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to one week.