Torched mackerel with rhubarb and fennel

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Mackerel and rhubarb is a pretty classic pairing and it's done beautifully simply here. The sweet, sharp rhubarb cuts across the lightly smoky, oily fish and the fennel adds a refreshing crunch.

First published in 2021





  • 200g of rhubarb
  • 400ml of water
  • 60ml of grenadine
  • 100g of sugar



  • Blow torch
  • Mandoline


Begin by making a thyme oil. Simply submerge a bunch of thyme in the oil and store in the fridge. This is a lovely fragrant oil to have to hand which is also nice for salad dressings – it will become more flavourful after a few days of steeping
For the rhubarb, place the water, grenadine and sugar into a small pan and bring to the boil
  • 400ml of water
  • 60ml of grenadine
  • 100g of sugar
Slice the rhubarb into 5cm batons. Once the grenadine mixture comes to the boil, add the rhubarb and take the pan off the heat. Leave to cool; the rhubarb will cook in the residual heat
Once the rhubarb has cooled, prepare the fennel. Use a mandoline to very finely slice the fennel then place it in a bowl and mix with lemon juice and a generous pinch of sea salt. Leave for 10 minutes
Season the mackerel fillets and place on a cold metal tray. Put in the fridge for 6 minutes
After this time, use a blowtorch to char the skin on the fillets until starting to blacken
To plate up, add a spoonful of the fennel and some drained rhubarb to the side. Top with the torched mackerel and finish with a drizzle of thyme oil
First published in 2021

Having developed his style of food working in an eclectic range of London restaurants, Henry Freestone’s no-frills style of cookery has gone on to win him heaps of praise.

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