"I usually find mackerel pâté pretty boring. So when we put it on the menu in the early days of the restaurant, I wanted to tart it up a bit. Beetroot adds colour and sweetness and the horseradish adds a bit of bite. If you’re in a rush, you can always use a bought chutney, but if you have time, it’s nice to make your own."
For the chutney:
2 large red onions, finely sliced
1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 cooked beetroot (beets), roughly chopped
½ tsp Chinese five spice
4 tbsp soft light brown sugar
100 ml/3½ fl oz/7 tbsp red wine vinegar
100 ml/3½ fl oz/7 tbsp red wine
For the pâté:
4 fillets of smoked mackerel, skin and pin bones removed
2 cooked beetroot (beets) (not the ones in vinegar), cut into small cubes
small handful of parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp freshly grated horseradish
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
juice of ½ a lemon
2 tbsp crème fraîche
sourdough or soda bread, to serve
Make the chutney at least a week in advance. It will keep for a few weeks and works really well with cheese or with cold meats, as well as in sandwiches.
Combine all the chutney ingredients in a saucepan. Top up with water, until it just reaches the level of the ingredients. Bring up to a simmer and cook for about 3 hours over a very low heat, stirring at least every
30 minutes, until the ingredients soften, darken and the liquid has evaporated. You will need to stir more frequently the drier the mixture gets. Set aside to cool.
You can transfer it to a sterilized jar, if wished. It will keep for 2–3 weeks in the fridge.
For the pâté, flake the mackerel fillets into a mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, stirring vigorously with a fork. Don’t mix it in a blender, as you would lose the texture. Once fully combined, transfer to a serving bowl and serve with the chutney and some bread. The pâté will keep for up to 1 week in the fridge in a lidded container.
The Prawn on the Lawn cookbook is published by Pavilion Books, £18.99