Saturday 21 January 2017

Forkful's speedy suppers

Aoife McElwain

Published 24/07/2015 | 02:30

Fresh mackerel with beetroot salsa
Fresh mackerel with beetroot salsa
Smoked mackerel hash

Mackerel is a fish I feel good about eating. It's local and sustainable, and its beautifully zebra-striped skin gives way to sweetly flavoured meat.

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It loves being paired with beetroot, and we've taken advantage of that in this week's beetroot salsa recipe.

I love frying up a few spuds for a breakfast or dinner-time hash. Smoked mackerel tops off our potato, spinach and poached egg dish by adding a salty sweetness.

Fresh mackerel with beetroot salsa

Serves 2

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes


2 vacuum-packed beets

1 tablespoon of finely chopped red onion

1 tablespoon of lemon zest

Juice of half a lemon



2 x mackerel fillets

1 tablespoon of yogurt

1 garlic clove

Fresh dill

Handful of rocket

Lemon wedges, to serve


1. Start by making your beetroot salsa. Drain the beets and dice into small cubes. Place them in a bowl. Add the finely chopped red onion, the lemon zest and lemon juice. Add a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside.

2. Heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium to high heat. When the pan is nice and hot, place the mackerel fillets, skin side down on the pan. Fry for 4 minutes, and then flip over and fry for a further two to three minutes.

3. Meanwhile, place the yogurt in a bowl. Finely grate in the garlic clove. Finely chop a few leaves of fresh dill and mix them into the yogurt.

4. When the mackerel is cooked, serve immediately with some beetroot salsa and dill yogurt, and some lemon wedges on the side.

Smoked mackerel hash

Serves 2

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes


6 baby potatoes, quartered

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Half a small white onion

1 clove of garlic



2 large handfuls of baby spinach

2 eggs

Half a fillet of smoked mackerel, shredded


1. In a small saucepan of water, boil the quartered potatoes for 10 minutes, until starting to soften. Strain and set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium to high heat. When it's nice and hot, transfer the potato quarters into the pan. Fry for 15 minutes, trying not to move them around too much so they can develop a golden, crispy skin.

3. Next, slice the onion into half moon slices and fry alongside the potatoes for three minutes, until softened. Finely dice the garlic clove and fry with the onion and potatoes for one minute. Season really well with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm until ready to serve.

4. In a smaller pan, wilt your spinach. Set aside and keep warm until ready to serve.

5. In a saucepan, boil water and add a splosh of red wine vinegar to the water. Carefully crack the eggs into the boiling water, cooking for 4 to 5 minutes for a soft yolk.

6. Divide the potatoes into two bowls. Add the wilted spinach and the poached eggs. Finally top with the shredded mackerel fillet, and finish with another pinch of salt and pepper.

This week's storecupboard essential: Smoked Mackerel

Mackerel is great for speedy suppers and has a long fridge life. Try Connemara Smokehouse's smoked mackerel fillets ( or Frank Hederman's whole smoked mackerel sold at Cork's English Market (


Photos: Mark Duggan 

Irish Independent

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