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House-Smoked Mackerel with Pickled and Roasted Celeriac, Beets, Mustard Cream, & Malted Rye

Mary-Ellen McTague, Aumbry in Prestwich, Manchester, United Kingdom - July 10th, 2014

Requires advance preparation

Smoked mackerel:

  • 60g salt
  • 40g granulated sugar
  • 1/4 bunch dill, chopped
  • 1 lg. (350 to 450g) mackerel, filleted
  • olive oil
  • oak chips
  1. Mix salt, sugar, and dill together; place cure in the bottom of nonreactive tray or container; place mackerel fillets on salt, flesh-side down; cover with a lid or plastic wrap; reserve in refrigerator 24 hours; remove fillets; rinse in cold water 1 hour.

  2. Pat the mackerel dry with paper towels or a clean towel; submerge in olive oil; reserve in refrigerator 24 hours.

  3. To smoke the mackerel, assemble 2 wire racks, a pan of oak chips, a tray of ice, and a smoke box; lay the fillets skin-side down on 1 wire rack; heat oak chips in a pan until smoking hot; then set alight; allow chips to flame a minute; extinguish flame by covering with a lid; quickly place the pan of smoking chips in the bottom of the smoke box, followed by a second wire rack, then the tray of ice, then the wire rack of mackerel; cover immediately, closing tightly so no smoke escapes (aluminum foil where the 2 boxes join together is very effective at sealing the smoke box shut); smoke mackerel 45 minutes; remove mackerel; place in fresh olive oil a further 24 hours.

Rye starter:

  • 120g rye flour
  • 480ml boiling water

Blitz rye flour and boiling water together to form a smooth paste; cover; reserve at least 1 hour before using.

Rye bread:

  • 190ml water
  • 40g roasted barley malt
  • 600g rye flour
  • 200g wholemeal flour
  • 25g yeast
  • 25g salt
  1. Mix 400g reserved rye starter and water together.

  2. Mix malt, rye and wholemeal flours together; rub yeast into flours; add salt; combine with starter/water mixture; mix until smooth.

  3. Heat oven to 180°C. Line 2 loaf pans with parchment; oil sides.

  4. Divide dough into 2; place neatly in pans; smooth surface with wet hands to even out; proof until nearly doubled; place in oven; cook 45 minutes or until inserted cake tester removes clean; cool; reserve.

Mustard cream sauce:

  • 50g whole grain mustard
  • 150ml double cream
  • 10ml lemon juice
  • 20g caster sugar
  • 10g Dijon mustard
  • 2g salt Whisk ingredients together in a bowl until sauce coats the back of a spoon; reserve.

Beetroot puree:

  • beets
  • salt
  • white wine vinegar
  • ultra tex
  1. Heat oven to 180°C.

  2. Wrap beets in foil; bake until soft; remove from oven; peel; puree beets until smooth.

  3. Weigh puree; add 2% salt, 7% white wine vinegar, and 2% ultra tex; puree again; pass through a chinois; pour puree into vacuum-sealable bag; remove air; seal; reserve in refrigerator.

Roasted celeriac:

  • celeriac, cut into 3 slices
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.

  2. Wrap celeriac in foil; bake until just soft, but not soggy; remove from oven; cool; cut into 3cm by 2cm rectangles; reserve in refrigerator.

Pickled celeriac:

  • 150g caster sugar
  • 400ml white wine vinegar
  • 100ml water
  • celeriac, thinly sliced on mandoline

Bring sugar, vinegar, and water to a boil in small saucepan; remove from heat; set aside to cool; add liquid and celeriac to vacuum-sealable plastic bag; seal; reserve.


  • clarified butter
  1. Remove mackerel from oil; cut into desired portions.

  2. Remove pickled celeriac from liquid; pat dry; julienne.

  3. Just before service, tear bread into £1 coin sized pieces; fry in clarified butter until crispy on the outside and chewy in the center.

  4. Streak mustard sauce across plate; place roasted celeriac on plate; top with mackerel and julienned celeriac; dot beet puree on plate; scatter rye bread around.