Recipe: Mackerel Mousse

Rating: 4.1 stars based on 1708 reviews

Serves: 6

Preparation time: 15 minutes plus chilling time


  • 180g packet good-quality hot smoked mackerel
  • 1½–2 tsp very, very finely chopped red onion
  • 1½–2 tsp tiny capers, rinsed, drained and chopped
  • 1–1½ tsp chopped dill, rinsed
  • 2 heaped tbsp soured cream
  • Juice of ½–1 lemon
  • 1 heaped tsp hot horseradish
  • 60g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 good-quality anchovies
  • 1 tsp cracked black peppercorns, or to taste


  • Put the mackerel fillets on a large plate and peel away the skin. Scatter over the red onion, chopped capers and dill. Spoon the soured cream on top and squeeze over the juice of half a lemon. Add the hot horseradish. On the other side of the plate, mash the softened butter with the anchovies, if using.
  • Crack the peppercorns using a pestle and mortar and sift out the dusty remains, scooting the pepper bits onto the plate.
  • Mash everything on the plate together well, using a fork, until evenly amalgamated. Taste at this point and add more lemon juice and/or pepper if you think either is needed. Salt is unnecessary, as the mackerel, anchovy and capers provide sufficient.
  • When you are happy with the balance of flavours, fork the pâté into a little terrine, cover with a lid or cling film and refrigerate.
  • Serve chilled with toasted rye bread or with my fennel and caraway seed rolls, split and toasted.


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