Pangrilled Mackerel with Parsley Butter or Green Gooseberry Sauce - By Darina Allen
• 8 fillets of very fresh
mackerel (allow 6 ozs (170g) fish for main course, 3 ozs (85g) for a starter)
• Seasoned flour
• Small knob of butter
• 2 ozs (55g/½ stick)
• 4 teasp. finely chopped parsley
• a few drops of freshly
squeezed lemon juice
Garnish • Segment of lemon
Green Gooseberry Sauce
Use the tart hard green gooseberries on the bushes at the moment, they make a
delicious sauce. The acidity cuts the richness of the mackerel in the most
• 10 ozs (285g/2 cups)
• stock syrup to cover
(see below) - 6 fl.ozs
(175 ml/¾ cup)
• a knob of butter
First make the Parsley Butter. Cream the butter, stir in the parsley and a few drops of lemon juice at a time.
Roll into butter pats or form into a roll and wrap in greaseproof paper or tin foil, screwing each end so that it looks like a cracker. Refrigerate to harden.
Heat the grill pan.
Dip the fish fillets in flour which has been seasoned with salt and freshly
ground pepper. Shake off the excess flour and then spread a little butter with a knife on the flesh side, as though you were buttering a slice of bread rather
meanly. When the grill is quite hot but not smoking, place the fish fillets butter side down on the grill; the fish should sizzle as soon as they touch the
pan. Turn down the heat slightly and let them cook for 4 or 5 minutes on that side before you turn them over. Continue to cook on the other side until crisp
and golden. Serve on a hot plate with some slices of Parlsey Butter and a segment of lemon.
Parsley Butter may be served directly on the fish, or if you have a pretty shell, place it at the side of the plate as a container for the butter. Garnish
with parsley and a segment of lemon.
Note: Fillets of any small fish are delicious pan grilled in this way. Fish
under 2 lbs (900g) such as mackerel, herring and brown trout can also be grilled whole on the pan. Fish over 2 lbs (900g) can be filleted first and then cut
across into portions. Large fish 4-6 lbs (1.8-2.7kg) can also be grilled whole. Cook them for 10-15 minutes approx. on each side and then put in a hot oven for
another 15 minutes or so to finish cooking.
Green Gooseberry Sauce
Top and tail the gooseberries, put into a stainless steel saucepan, barely
cover with stock syrup, bring to the boil and simmer until the fruit bursts. Taste. Stir in a small knob of butter if you like but it is very good without
Dissolve the sugar in the water and boil together for 2 minutes. Store in a covered jar in the refrigerator until needed. Stock syrup can also be used for
sorbets, fruit salads or as a sweetener in homemade lemonades.