Mackerel Poached in Olive oilRecipe by
When mackerel is poached in olive oil, the rather dry fish soaks up the oil and the result is fantastic. For flavor, Italian-style lemon butter sauce is poured over the fish before serving.
- 2 to 4 mackerel (about one kilogram in weight) scaled and gutted
- olive oil not extra virgin
Lemon butter sauce
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 6 cloves garlic smashed
- ½ cup melted butter
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- lemon juice to taste
- lemon slices
- mint leaves
Poach the fish
- Rinse the fish well then pat dry with a kitchen towel.
- Score both sides of the fish and rub generously with salt and pepper.
- In a wide shallow pan that can hold all the fish in a single layer, pour in enough olive oil to reach a depth of two inches.
- Heat the oil to 160F to 180F (see notes after the recipe).
- Lay the fish on the oil and cook for ten minutes per side.
Make the lemon butter sauce
- In a small non-reactive pan, heat the white wine vinegar with the garlic very gently over low heat for about a minute. Leave to infuse for a few minutes. Strain.
- Stir together the melted butter and strained white wine vinegar. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon.
- Season with salt and pepper. Taste. Adjust the amount of lemon juice, salt, pepper or all of them, if needed.
Assemble the dish
- Lay the poached fish on a serving platter or individual plates.
- Drizzle sauce over the enter firsh.
- Arrange the olive slices on top of the fish.
- Sprinkle with mint leaves.
Poaching temperature is lower than simmering temperature. That means the oil shouldn’t be allowed to reach smoking point. A cooking thermometer would be useful; I had none so I just eyeballed my way through the poaching. It took about 20 minutes to cook the fish at 10 minutes per side. The cooking time will naturally vary depending on the size of the fish. Based on a recipe from the Italian cookbook, The Silver Spoon. Updated from my old recipe originally published in September 22, 2014