Mackerel and rhubarb – sgombro e rabarbaro

Mackerel and rhubarb – sgombro e rabarbaro

Yes, concentration is indeed required! 

Mackerel and rhubarb – sgombro e rabarbaro

Mackerel and rhubarb – sgombro e rabarbaro

If you have ever boned a mackerel you will know this. That said, Trota is only acting chef-like here: the mackerel was actually prepared for her by the expert fishmonger!

Mackerel and rhubarb is a traditional British pairing, and the Rowes love it. Easy to make too. And at this time of the year, with mackerel a-plenty and the rhubarb season just starting, we urge you to try it.

For the usual two diners you will need: 2 mackerel, filleted and boned, 4–5 sticks of rhubarb, 2 tbsp sugar, 2–3 tbsp water, sprigs of fresh rosemary, 2 tbsp plain flour, 2 tbsp Port (optional), olive oil and seasoning.

Pre-heat the oven to180°C. Wash, clean and cut the rhubarb in 4–5cm lengths, spread out in a roasting tin, sprinkle with sugar, add the water and bake for about 20 minutes until soft. Drain and reserve the juices, set aside and keep warm.

On a plate sprinkle the flour, season with salt and pepper and use to coat the mackerel (skin side only). In a large frying pan warm up a little olive oil then place the mackerel skin side down. Scatter the rosemary. Press the fish with a palette knife and cook for 3–4 minutes, then flip and cook for another couple of minutes on the other side.

Remove the fish from the pan and use the reserved rhubarb juices (and Port if using) to deglaze it, return the fish briefly to coat with the juices and serve at once, with the rhubarb on the side.

Thank you Jools for pointing us to this delicacy: mackerel and rhubarb is now the Rowes’ seasonal firm favourite.