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This yummy side dish or lunch salad was reimagined by the brilliant Brian Topping who gave us his fantastic take on our summer mackerel dish with rhubard and gooseberry relish. Brian is a MasterChef Ireland finalist and is very skilled with his camera, too. We're delighted to have him back for this delicious winter salad.
You find local fishmongers and seafood shops in and around Dublin on our google map of fishmongers here. We update this map whenever we can, but it is by no means exhaustive and if you can't find your local or favourite seafood shop here or you're a fishmonger who would like to be added, please get in touch and we will update our map.
Enjoy your seafood experience!
Smoked Mackerel & Potato Salad
Our mackerel salad is based on a historical recipe by Maria Rundell from 1807 titled "to Dress Red Herrings".
One thing worth mentioning about this particular dish is that Brian tried really hard to find herring to keep the authenticity of the recipe. But no matter where he looked or asked no one had even one of these silver darlings for him that were once so plentiful and a stable food in Ireland. To quote Brian on his search for herring: "It was quite a challenge trying to get fresh fish for this dish as I couldn’t get any herring, sardines or mackerel in Dublin, even at the wet counters in Howth. In the end I settled on using an Irish oak-smoked mackerel fillet as a substitute. It’s really interesting speaking to fishmongers that there is very poor demand for these fish nowadays, and they don’t sell when they bring them in".
So here we give you Brian's take on the recipe with Irish Oak smoked mackerel. If you do find herring, give it a go and dive into Ireland's rich herring fishery history.
Irish Oak Smoked Mackerel & Potato Salad with Eggs, Watercress and Spiced Irish Brown Bread Crumble
by Brian Topping
prep: 20mins; cook: 30mins; difficulty level: easy; serves 2
- 2 fillets of good quality smoked Irish mackerel or herring
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 30ml white wine vinegar
- 5ml runny honey
- 50ml olive oil
- handful or watercress (rocket leaves can be used alternatively)
- 1 free range egg
- 1 plump garlic clove
- 20g butter
- 50g brown Irish soda bread
- 2 teaspoons of mixed spices
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 200g baby salad potatoes
- selection of soft herbs to garnish: coriander, parsley, tarragon or a mix of what is available
- To make brown Irish soda bread spiced crumble: Place brown soda bread in food processor and turn into breadcrumbs; grate garlic clove on a microplace; melt butter in a small pan add breadcrumbs, garlic and mixed spices and fry until it begins to crisp up and has a crunch to it; take off and leave aside.
- Boil the potatoes in salty water until tender (10-20mins); drain and leave to cool; when cool enough to handle, cut potatoes into bitesize pieces; Brian likes to slice some, quarter and half the others; set aside.
- To make the dressing whisk the mustard, white wine vinegar, honey and olive oil in a bowl until it emulsifies, season with sea salt and pepper and set aside.
- Finely chop the handful of watercress.
- Place the egg in boiling water and boil for 5mins, remove from water and place in iced water to cool; peel shell from egg and cut into quarters (yolk should be soft and jammy)
- Peel the skin from the smoked mackerel fillets and break into randomly sized pieces and set aside.
- Place the potatoes in a bowl.
- Add all the dressing, chopped watercress and half of the spiced brown bread crumble.
- Mix gently with spoon being careful not to break up the potatoes until coated in dressing.
- Divide the potato mixture between 2 plates, place the mackerel randomly over the potato salad, add the egg and dress with the remaining spiced brown bread crumble.
- Garnish with a mix of soft herbs and a pinch of salt and pepper. Serve.
Below you will find all the recipes we cooked. You can cook them anytime until they are out of season. Information on the seasons can be found in the sustainability section of each recipe or in our seasonality summary chart. Enjoy your sustainable seafood!
February - Niall's Fish Curry
June - Pan roasted megrim sole.
August - Mackerel with Rhubard and Gooseberry Relish
September - Oyster soup in bread cups
October - Pickled Cockles & Mussels
November - Prawn stew starter
December - Smoked Mackerel & Potato Salad