Our Chef Masterclass series inspires us to get in the kitchen and take our weekend experimenting to the next level, and while we have tackled some complex recipes so far, this Salt & Pepper Blue Mackerel recipe by famed fish guru Josh Niland appears at first to be very simple but does rely on incredibly fresh mackerel and a deft hand in preparation.
Josh is going to be creating his incredible dishes as part of his Taste by Talisker restaurant pop-up in The Talisker Boathouse within the wild rugged cliff tops of North Head in Sydney for two days only on October 21 and 22. For bookings and more information visit here.
Salt & Vinegar Blue Mackerel
4 very fresh boneless blue mackerel fillets, tail intact (about 80 g/23⁄4 oz each)
80 g (23⁄4 oz/2/3 cup) sea salt flakes
250 ml (81⁄2 fl oz/1 cup) champagne vinegar & juniper berries
120ml Gordal Olive Brine
80ml extra virgin olive oil
Warm sourdough bread to serve
Cultured salted butter to serve
- To pickle the mackerel, season the skin and flesh side evenly with the salt, then place on a tray and refrigerate, uncovered, for 2 hours. Once time has passed, submerge the fish in a bath of the vinegar and juniper berries and leave to chill for 30 minutes.
- Remove the pickled mackerel from the vinegar, reserving the vinegar.
- Turn the fish onto the flesh side so it is skin side facing up.
- Using your fingers, grab on to the corner of the skin closest to where the head would have been and pull the skin gently off the flesh leaving behind the ‘silver’ skin.
- Slice the mackerel thickly, about 1 cm (1⁄2 in) from the head to the tail. Assemble each mackerel across 4 serving plates.
- Pour the Gordal Olive Brine & extra virgin olive oil over each mackerel evenly before serving. Be sure to serve the dish with warm sourdough bread and butter.