Mackerel with celeriac, apple and fennel seeds | Recipe of the week

The nights are starting to draw out with the evening light stretching to just over 5pm.
Mackerel, celeriac, apple and fennel seeds, by Lawrence MurphyMackerel, celeriac, apple and fennel seeds, by Lawrence Murphy
Mackerel, celeriac, apple and fennel seeds, by Lawrence Murphy

We are marching on to pastures new as it comes to the end of the game season and bright-pink forced rhubarb is available to brighten up a few dishes. Some good greengrocers will also tempt you with sweet and sharp blood oranges which harmonize so well with the rhubarb. There are still some lovely Jerusalem artichokes, parsnips, local leeks and celeriac in great condition to put a bit of flavour in your winter creations. In this recipe I match celeriac and apple juice with mackerel, spiked with fennel seed for a zingy starter.

Ingredients, serves 4

2 mackerel filleted and pin boned

4 tablespoons grated celeriac

100ml dry cider

100ml apple vinegar

25g sugar

pinch salt

160ml Bramley apple juice

teaspoon fennel seed

100ml olive oil


1. Put the cider, vinegar, sugar and salt into a saucepan and bring to the boil.

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2. Simmer for 4 minutes and add the grated celeriac . Bring back to the boil and then turn off and allow to cool.

3. Grind the fennel seeds coarsely in a pestle and mortar. Add a pinch of salt and the olive oil.

4. Grill the mackerel on a high grill setting for 2 minutes and then baste the fillets with the fennel oil. Put the fish back under the grill to finish cooking.

5.Drain the pickled celeriac and put it into the centre of 4 bowls, pour around the apple juice.

6. Put the mackerel on top of the celeriac and spoon around the fennel oil.

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