Mackerel, white chocolate, horseradish and beetroot

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Beetroot and mackerel are a classic combination, as this mackerel recipe proves. In James Sommerin's recipe, both ingredients are treated in two ways - the mackerel seared and turned into a tartare, the beetroot pickled and its juice reduced. White chocolate and horseradish are added for further levels of creativity and the plating is truly stunning.

First published in 2015




Mackerel fillets

Crumb mixture

  • 20g of caster sugar
  • 40g of plain flour
  • 40g of butter
  • 35g of milk powder
  • 15g of cornflour
  • sea salt

White chocolate

Mackerel tartare

Beetroot reduction

To plate


  • Juicer


Dice the beetroot into 1cm pieces
Bring the beetroot juice, balsamic vinegar, bay leaf, caster sugar and apple juice to the boil, adding the diced beetroot after the mixture starts boiling. Place in a covered container and leave to pickle in the refrigerator for approximately 24 hours
After the beetroot is done pickling, take a third of the pickling liquid and reduce by half in a saucepan. Reserve the reduction in the fridge, separate from the rest of the mixture
Preheat the oven to 120°C/Gas mark 1. Melt the butter and mix together with the milk powder, plain flour, cornflour, caster sugar and a pinch of sea salt. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Leave to cool
  • 40g of butter
  • 35g of milk powder
  • 40g of plain flour
  • 15g of cornflour
  • 20g of caster sugar
  • sea salt
Finely grate the fresh horseradish and mix together with the white chocolate and milk powder in a saucepan until the chocolate has melted
Fold in the crumb mixture. Place on a baking tray and leave to cool in the fridge
To make the mackerel tartare, finely chop the mackerel fillets and mix with the olive oil, lemon juice, finely chopped shallots and a pinch of salt and pepper. Leave for 5 minutes before serving
In a hot pan, sear the mackerel, skin-side down, in a little olive oil for 30 seconds to a minute, then turn and finish in the pan for another 30 seconds to a minute. The mackerel should be slightly undercooked and translucent in the centre
Quenelle the mackerel tartare
Smear the beetroot reduction onto each plate and place a mackerel fillet on top. Place the tartare on the side of the plate, scattering over the pickled beetroot chunks, the biscuit crumb and some wildflowers and a drizzle of olive oil

Noted for his innovative, flavourful food, James Sommerin has won multiple Michelin stars throughout his career, most recently at his lauded Penarth restaurant, Home.

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