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Mackerel with Pickled Gooseberries, Gooseberry Wine Jelly and Gooseberry Puree, by Kenny Atkinson

04 July 2010

This recipe for mackerel with pickled gooseberries, gooseberry wine jelly and gooseberry purée, made Kenny Atkinson, chef-patron of the eponymous restaurant at Rockliffe Hall in County Durham, one of the four winning finalists in the BBC's Great British Menu 2010. There are more winning recipes from the show in our article," target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">Meet the four finalists in the Great British Menu 2010.

INGREDIENTS (Serves four)

For the pickled gooseberries

• 100ml water
• 120ml gooseberry wine
• 300ml white wine vinegar
• 100ml rapeseed oil
• 160g caster sugar
• 1 lemon, juice and zest
• 1tsp mustard seeds
• 1tsp black peppercorns
• 200g gooseberries
• 2 sprigs fresh tarragon

For the lemon oil

• 6 lemons, zest only
• 1 sprig fresh thyme
• 1.7 litres rapeseed oil

For the gooseberry wine jelly

• 500ml gooseberry wine
• 100g caster sugar
• 1tsp agar agar flakes

For the mackerel

• 2 x 600g mackerel, filleted, pin-bones removed
• Sea salt
• 1tbs English mustard
• 1 small loaf white bread, crust removed, frozen then sliced as thinly as possible
• 1tbs rapeseed oil

For the gooseberry purée

• 500g gooseberries
• 100g caster sugar
25g unsalted butter
• ½ lemon, juice only
• 25ml double cream

For the pickled lemon zest

• 1 lemon, peel only, pith removed, sliced thinly
• 200g caster sugar
• 200ml water
• 200ml white wine vinegar

To serve

• 50g mustard cress or shiso cress


For the pickled gooseberries

Heat the water, wine, vinegar, oil, sugar, lemon zest and juice, mustard seeds and peppercorns until boiling. Add the gooseberries and simmer for 10-12 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat, add the tarragon and set aside to pickle overnight. Drain the gooseberries, remove the tarragon sprigs and set aside.

For the lemon oil

Heat the lemon zest, thyme and rapeseed oil. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to infuse for four hours. Strain the liquid and discard the lemon zest and thyme.

For the gooseberry wine jelly

Line a 10x6cm tray with clingfilm. Heat the wine, sugar and agar agar flakes in a pan, whisking slowly, until boiling and the agar agar has dissolved. Continue to simmer until the mixture reaches 80°C (use a digital thermometer to check this).

Pour the jelly into the tray and chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours, or until set. Cut the jelly into 1.5cm cubes.

For the mackerel

Season with salt and set aside for three minutes. Pat the fillets dry with kitchen paper. Place two of the mackerel fillets, head-to-tail, onto a large piece of clingfilm. Roll the fillets up tightly to form a sausage shape in the clingfilm. Repeat with the remaining mackerel fillets. Chill in the fridge for one hour.

Remove the clingfilm and brush the mackerel fillets with a little English mustard. Wrap the mackerel fillets in the slices of bread and wrap again tightly in the clingfilm. Cut the mackerel fillets into 3cm slices and remove the clingfilm.

For the gooseberry purée

Place all of the ingredients into a vacuum pack bag and cook in a pan of simmering water for 30 minutes. Carefully open the bag and blend the contents in a blender to a smooth purée. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve and transfer to a plastic squeezy bottle.

For the pickled lemon zest

Cook the lemon strips in a pan of simmering water for two minutes. Drain and refresh in cold water. Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan until boiling. Reduce the heat and simmer for three minutes; add the lemon zest and simmer for a further five minutes. Add the vinegar and simmer for a further four minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool. Drain the pickled lemon zest and set aside to cool.

To serve

Preheat the oven to 80°C. Place the diced jelly onto a tray and warm in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan and fry the mackerel, turning regularly, for 2-3 minutes, or until the bread is golden-brown and crisp.

Pipe a line of gooseberry purée onto each of four serving plates. Arrange the diced jelly and pickled gooseberries in a line next to the purée and garnish the jelly with the pickled lemon zest and cress leaves. Arrange two discs of the breaded mackerel next to the jelly and finish with a little drizzle of lemon oil.

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Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


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