Legendary Dishes | Pâté de Maquereau Fumé (smoked mackerel pâté)

FRANCE 

Once apon a time this traditional snack was made with cream – crème fraîche or fresh sour cream. Other flavourings included horseradish and mustard, in varying quantities. With its own distinctive flavour, smoked mackerel absorbed strong flavours, lemon juice was added to give the pate a base flavour. Seasonings included cayanne or chilli, pepper – white, black or green or a combination – and salt. Butter, cottage cheese or tofu was preferred to cream. French herbs like chives, marjoram and parsley were included in the process. Hard cheese such as parmigiano was grated into the pate to give it yet another tangential flavour. Shallots pounded into a paste also gave an added depth of flavour. We favour the traditional flavourings – crème fraîche, horseradish, mustard with the juice of one lemon and a few teaspoons of grated hard cheese. See also rillettes de maquereau fumé, below.

  • 250 g / 300 g hot smoked mackerel, back bone, bones and skin removed
  • 60 g / 90 g crème fraîche / sour cream
  • 60 g horseradish
  • 30 ml lemon juice
  • 15 g parmigiano cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • Chilli powder / green pepper, pinch
  • Salt, large pinch

Using a fork, mince the mackerel. Stir in the lemon juice and the cream to form a paste. Add the cheese horseradish, mustard and seasonings, mix thoroughly. Spoon into ramekins, refrigerate for at least two hours, then serve.

Smoked Mackerel with Polish Horseradish and Vietnamese Black Peppercorns

Rillettes de Maquereau Fumé
FRANCE
smoked mackerel shreds

  • 500 g smoked mackerel, heads and tails removed, boned and skinned, minced
  • 200 g brie, softened
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 50 g cream / crème fraîche
  • 50 g shallot, finely chopped
  • 20 chives (optional)
  • 10 g black pepper

Mash mackerel into the butter, add cream and cheese, stir vigourously. Add chives and shallots, followed by the lemon juice and zest, the chives and black pepper. Spoon and press into ramekins, cover with foil, refrigerate for two hours. Serve on biscuits, crackers or toast.

Rillettes de Maquereau Fumé 2

  • 500 g smoked mackerel, heads and tails removed, boned and skinned, minced
  • 100 g red onion, chopped
  • 90 g Charouce or soft white cheese
  • 60 g farmhouse butter, unsalted
  • 60 g horseradish cream
  • 45 ml brandy
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 15 ml olive oil
  • 10 g black pepper
  • 5 g lovage, chopped
  • 4 rosemary spears, chopped
  • 2 sage leaves, chopped
  • Nutmeg, large pinch
  • Salt, several large pinches
  • Ghee, for sealing (optional)x

Purée mackerel, refrigerate. Sauté garlic and onions in the butter and oil over a low heat for five minutes, leave to cool. Add mackerel, herbs and seasonings, stir. Whip the cheese and horseradish into the mixture, spoon into small ceramic bowls. Deglaze the pan with brandy, add liquid to pâté. Refrigerate for an hour, serve on small round biscuits or on squares of toast. If keeping, seal with melted ghee and refrigerate.

Rillettes de Maquereau Fumé 3

  • 500 g smoked mackerel, heads and tails removed, boned and skinned, minced
  • 200 g crème fraîche
  • 100 g butter
  • 50 g shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 5 g black pepper
  • 10 chives

Mash mackerel into the butter, add cream and cheese, stir vigourously. Add chives and shallots, followed by the lemon juice and zest, the chives and black pepper. Spoon and press into ramekins, cover with foil, refrigerate for two hours. Serve on toast or crackers.