Recipe by Finbar Higgins, Executive Chef, K Club, County Kildare, Ireland
Served with barigoule of vegetables with Crinnaughtaun apple juice and Newgrange Gold rapeseed oil.
Chef Note: A ‘barigoule’ is a traditional French method of cooking vegetables in white wine and olive oil. In my version, I have replaced the white wine with Judith Keane’s Crinnaughtaun apple juice from County Waterford and the olive oil with rapeseed oil from County Meath. The resulting dish is very simple and light but really refreshing.
For the Mackerel
Place the apple juice in a pot and boil to reduce to 60ml (2.1fl oz). Add the cider vinegar, bouquet garni and rapeseed oil. Season with salt and milled white peppercorn. Add the vegetables, garlic and coriander seeds and bring gently up to just under the boil. Then immediately remove from the heat, place a parchment paper lid on top and transfer to the preheated oven for about 20–25 minutes, or until the vegetables are just tender. Once the vegetables are cooked, remove from the oven. Cut the courgette into 4 equal lengths and cut each length into 4 wedges. Turn each wedge into a barrel shape. Blanch them in boiling, salted water for 30 seconds, then add into the barigoule.
Preheat the oven to 120°C. Remove the pin bones very carefully from each mackerel fillet. Season the mackerel fillets with salt and milled white peppercorn. Add the seasoned fillets to a pan and pour over enough cooking liquid from the barigoule to just cover them. Set the pan over a low heat and cook for about 4 minutes, or until the fillets are soft and flaking.
Place the lecithin powder and the apple juice in a rectangular-shaped container and blitz together with a hand blender until bubbles appear.
Add the apple balls and chopped coriander to the barigoule. Spoon some barigoule mixture into the centre of each warm plate, dividing the vegetables evenly between them. Lay a mackerel fillet on top and spoon on some apple air. Sprinkle a little smoked sea salt over the fish to serve.
The Straffan House at the K Club, County Kildare, Ireland. Image courtesy K Club.