Mackerel Gravad Max
Recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
serves 5 as a starter
5 Cornish Handline mackerel
75g caster sugar
50g coarse salt
coarse ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of fresh dill
For the sauce
4g English mustard
4g caster sugar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
20 ml crème fraîche
1 tablespoon fresh dill
- Prepare the mackerel either into double or single fillets
- Make the cure by mixing together caster sugar (preferably golden), coarse sea salt, coarse black pepper and finely chopped dill (stalks removed).
- Sprinkle the cure lightly over the base of the dish and place the first layer of fillets skin side down with the thin edges just overlapping. Sprinkle another layer of cure over, slightly heavier this time. Lay the next layer skin side up and sprinkle another layer of cure and then the next layer skin side down etc. The final number of layers depends on the amount of fish you have and the size and shape of the dish you use.
- Cover with a lid and weigh down, making sure there are holes so that liquid can seep out of the bottom. Also make sure that there is a tray to catch the juices.
- Once a day, baste the mackerel with the juices that have accumulated in the tray, replacing the weight and lid.
Gravad should be eaten after 72 hours. When ready to serve, lift out fillets one at a time. Place each fillet skin side down and cut into three or four slices with a sharp knife, lifting each piece away from the skin beneath.
To make the sauce, mix the mustard, sugar and vinegar together until thoroughly blended, then mix in the crème fraîche, then the dill.
Serve the mackerel pieces piled roughly in the centre of the plate surrounded by a few dressed salad leaves. Pass the sauce and serve with plenty of brown bread and butter.