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Smoked Mackerel Paté

Smoked mackerel paté from the woodfired oven is a fabulous recipe to have up your sleeve – straightforward to make and utterly delicious. If you have a glut of fresh mackerel, if you or a friend have been fishing, this is a great way of using them up.

We used apple wood chips to smoke the mackerel which gives the smoked mackerel paté a delicious flavour. But do ring the changes with different woods – cherry, maple, oak, beech – all work well.

Remember the smoking is to add flavour not to preserve the fish as would have been done traditionally so it doesn’t have to sit in the smoke for a long time; just til the fillets are up to temperature and have taken on a bit of smokey flavour.

Check out how we made the paté on this week’s #woodfiredweekly

Smoked Mackerel Paté – Ingredients

4 fresh mackerel, cleaned and filleted

1 cup salt and 1 cup Demerara sugar for the brine

1tsp smoked paprika – hot, sweet or agridulce

200g cream cheese, curd cheese or ricotta

Lemon – finely grated zest and juice

Freshly ground black pepper

1tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Toppings – strips of lemon zest, sliced cornichons, finely sliced red onion marinated in lemon juice and a pinch of salt

Toast for serving the paté

Smoked Mackerel Paté – Oven State etc

Cool oven with plenty of embers

Door on but ajar so the smoke can drift out

Foil packs of wood chips to sit on the embers – make them in advance; we used about 4

Smoked mackerel paté

Foil packs of wood chips to sit on the embers

Tuscan grill to raise the fish into the smoke

Smoked Mackerel Paté – Method for smoking the fish

  1. Make the brine by adding 2 pints boiling water to the sugar and salt in a large non-metallic bowl. Let the brine cool and then add the mackerel for an hour.
  2. Take the mackerel fillets out of the brine and let them dry on a new J-cloth or similar.
  3. Put the Tuscan grill and another roasting tin upside down 9the roasting tin not the grill) so you make a platform in the oven for the fillets to sit on.
  4. Warm up a grill or flat pan on top of the Tuscan grill stack and when it’s warm brush it with olive or sunflwer oil to stop the fish sticking.
  5. Sprinkle the smoked paprika over the mackerel fillets and put the fillets on the warmed, oiled grill in the oven.
  6. Put the packs of wood chips on the embers to start smoking.
  7. Shut the door but leave it ajar and close the flue so that the smoke drifts over the fish.
  8. Slowly bring the fish up to a temperature of about 65C. This may take 20 minutes or more.

    Smoked mackerel paté

    Testing the temperature of the fillets

Smoked Mackerel Paté – Method for making the paté

  1. Take the fillets out of the oven and when you can handle them, skin them and break them into a mixing bowl.
  2. When the fish is cool add the cream cheese, parsley, lemon zest and juice, a touch of salt and some ground black pepper. Mix all this together with a fork. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.

    Smoked mackerel paté

    Making the paté

  3. Make your toast in or on your oven.

    Smoked mackerel paté

    Making toast on top of the Morso Forno

  4. Serve the paté on the toast and top with shreds of lemon zest, sliced cornichons and the thinly sliced red onions.

    Smoked mackerel paté

    The paté with toppings on the toast

Smoked Mackerel Paté – Alternatives

  • Use different wood chips for different flavours
  • Experiment with different herbs instead of parsley – chives would be delicious or fresh fennel fronds
  • Try smoking different fish – sardines, salmon and eel all smoke well

If you like fish, you’ll love fish from the woodfired oven – do check out our Woodfired Fish & Seafood for lots more fabulous recipes, available as a hard back or an ebook

Smoked mackerel paté

Fabulous fishmonger!