Mackerel Miss Muffet

An audition dish from MasterChef Ireland 2012


For the goat curd
  • 1 l goats milk
  • salt
  • 2 tblsp white wine vinegar
  • 0.50 tsp garlic powder
  • fennel leaf for garnish

  • 1/3 mackerel fillet (cut diagonal)
  • beetroot
  • salt
  • pepper
  • peat for smoking
  • salt

For the pickled cucumber
  • 3 shavings of cucumber
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tblsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 chives

For the mayonnaise
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tea cup of sunflower or groundnut oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dijon
  • beetroot juice


Goat Curd
  1. Bring goat’s milk to boil and let boil for one minute. Add vinegar. Add salt. Let curdle. If milk doesn’t curdle, add another spoon of vinegar. Line a sieve with 3 layers of cheese cloth or 1 white hanky and lay over a 1 ltr or greater bowl. Pour in milk into sieve and leave to drain in fridge over night. In the morning you will have goats curd in the cloth and whey in the bowl.
For the mackerel
  1. Season mackerel liberally with salt and black pepper. Try use the part of the mackerel with the prettiest skin markings. Heat olive oil to medium heat and fry underside of mackerel gently until slightly browned (Maybe one minute)
  2. Take mackerel off heat and warm through in oven at 160-170C for 3 mins. Try to keep mackerel skin in as good condition as possible for presentation later.
  3. Place turf in pestle & mortar and pound down turf. Place mackerel on wire rack in a bowl. Cover top of bowl with cling film. Punch hole in cling film and pump smoke in from smoke gun, cover hole and leave for 1 minute. Season Mackerel again.
For the cucumber
  1. Mix sugar and vinegar until sugar dissolves. Add tiny pinch of salt. Brush on to cucumber, cover and leave pickle for 30 minutes
For the beetroot
  1. Boil beetroot in beet root juice for 20 mins. When cooked, remove beetroot from skin and cut into cube.
Mayonnaise and plating up
  1. Whisk egg yolk with salt until creamy. Whisk continuously by adding oil in very thin stream until emulsified. Mix in rest of ingredients; add in beetroot juice.
  2. Place mackerel on warm beetroot cube. Roll cucumber into rolls, insert a chive and place around mackerel.
  3. Place dollops of curd around mackerel and garnish with fennel. Dot mayonnaise around rest of ingredients.

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