The recipe is detailed below and is also viewable online at the Times website. In selecting a wine for this dish consider that mackerel is quite an oily fish while the sauce is, in comparison, quite sharp. The deadline for entries is the 24th of the month. See a previous post for the full background to the challenge.
- 2 small mackerel 1 per person (about 450g each), gutted and cleaned
- Salt and black pepper
- 4 bay leaves
- 75ml dry cider
- 1 tbsp butter
- 250g young rhubarb, trimmed and chopped
- 60ml dry cider
- ½ tsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp light brown sugar
- Nutmeg (fresh for grating)
Oven to to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Make three diagonal slashes on each side of each fish. Season inside and out. Place in a shallow ovenproof dish. Put two bay leaves in each cavity, then pour over the cider and dot with butter. Cover with foil so the dish is completely sealed and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
Put the rhubarb, cider, lemon juice and sugar in a saucepan. Grate in a generous amount of nutmeg. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until you have a soft pink purée.
Serve the fish with the rhubarb sauce on the side. Boiled potatoes as an accompaniment.