Mackerel Escabeche


  • Mackerel Fillets
  • 200g Salt
  • 200g sugar
  • 2tsp ground coriander
  • Zest of 2 Limes
  • Zest of 2 Lemons
  • 2 Green Chillies
  • Rosemary
  • Cardamon Seeds
  • Mustard seeds
  • Fennel Seeds
  • 3 carrots
  • Courgette
  • 4 Shallots
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • Pinch of saffron
  • Apple Vinegar
  • Olive Oil
  • Water
  • Sugar

Sterilise your preserving jars – add a vinegar and boiling water mix to each jar and shake before allowing to air dry.  Add the lids to a pan of boiling water with vinegar and simmer for 5 minutes. 

Fillet your Mackerels and prepare your cure – in a bowl mix equal portions of Salt and Sugar together with 2 tsp of ground coriander and the lemon and lime zest.   Slice 2 green chillies and add to the bowl – you do not need to deseed.

Sprinkle the cure over the base of a large tray and pack your mackerel fillets topping with the cure.   Repeat the process layering the remaining fillets and then press down firmly.

Leave for 2 hours.

Place 5 cardamon seeds, 2 tsp mustard seeds, 2 tsp of fennel seeds into a hot pan and toast until they start to pop.  Peel the carrots, shallots, courgette and garlic and finely slice.  Cover the bottom of a pan with olive oil and add in the sliced carrots together with your toasted seeds.   When the contents have started to sizzle add a pinch of saffron.  When the carrots have started to soften add the shallots and garlic and stir well for around a minute.  Pour over quantities of one third apple vinegar, one third oil and one third water.    Taste and if necessary, sweeten with a touch of sugar.  Drop in the courgettes for 30 seconds, they do not need to cook through. 

The cured mackerel should now have firmed up and liquid should have started to leave the flesh.  Rinse off and pat dry.  Portion the fillets before placing in a cold pan to use as a backstop before searing the skins with a blow torch.

Add your pickling liquor to the base of your jar and add in your mackerel.  Top up with liquor.   The oil will create an insulating layer on the top and the jars are ready to store.

Serve on fried sourdough bread sprinkled with sea salt and rubbed with garlic.

Sardines in tomato sauce:


  • Sardines
  • 3 cans of high-quality Italian sun ripened tomatoes
  • Mission Olives (around 6 used in this recipe)
  • 3 Wood fired roasted peppers
  • 4 Shallots
  • 1 ½ Bulbs of garlic
  • Non pareilles capers
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Sherry Vinegar
  • Sugar

In a large pan heat a generous quantity of olive oil before adding 4 finely diced shallots and 1 ½ finely sliced bulbs of garlic.   Add a pinch of salt and allow to sweat down.

Finely chop 3 woodfired peppers and 6 mission olives.  Add to the pan together with a pinch of capers.   Open 3 cans of pulped tomatoes (the best quality you can find) and pour into the pan before seasoning with a pinch of salt and pepper, a pinch of sugar and finally a splash of sherry vinegar.   Allow to simmer for 25 minutes. 

Pour a layer of the tomato sauce into a sterilised jar and pack your sardines.  Take a sprig of rosemary and dip into boiling water for around 15 seconds to sterilise before adding to the jar.  Knocking the jar onto a flat surface will work out any air bubbles to the surface before you seal the jar.  Seal as tightly as you can and the place the jars into a pan of boiling water, cover the pan with clingfilm and simmer for one hour.  You are then ready to store.

Serve on fried sourdough bread sprinkled with sea salt and rubbed with garlic.