August & September each year there is a huge abundance of mackerel off Chesil Beach, They are easy to catch and they taste great just fried in butter, but if you have a simple hot smoker they make the best pate, which also freezes well for a few months.
First it is best to brine your fillets, this also allows the flesh to take on more flavour from the smoke.
Add 500ml cold water, 2 heaped tablespoons salt, 1 heaped tablespoon soft brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, good squeeze of lemon juice, 6 black peppercorns and 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules. Then mix until all the salt & sugar has been dissolved. Pour over the mackerel fillets in a non-metallic bowl, just enough to cover. Leave for 30 minutes in a cool place. Dry with a kitchen towel and leave to dry for a further 20 minutes.
Then smoke your mackerel, my simple but effective smoker cooks about 4-5 fillets of mackerel in approximately 20 minutes. Once cooked and cool remove the flesh from the skin, if you use foil like in the photograph the skin always sticks to the foil so makes this job really easy.
(alternatively – you can purchase already smoked mackerel from a good fishmonger).
Smoked Mackerel Pate
- 300g mackerel (which is about 6-8 fillets depending on the size of the fish)
- 200g soft cream cheese
- bunch of parsley
- 1 1/2 lemon juice (added gradually to taste)
- creamed horseradish
- Step 1 Add all the ingredients to a food processor, except the horseradish.
- Step 2 Blend briefly.
- Step 3 Add the horseradish to taste and best 1 teaspoon at a time. Blend until you reach the consistency that you prefer, some like it chunky and some like it smooth.
- Step 4 Season to taste.