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Warm Salad of Smoked Mackerel & Baby Beetroot with Dijon Mustard & Horseradish Dressing

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Mackerel ranks high with herring and salmon for the most popular smoked fish; rich and oily, crammed with flavour, a little goes a long way – and it is relatively cheap! Writes Sandra Tate… 

For 800g mackerel, filleted and cleaned, mix 50g sea salt with 60g light brown sugar and juice of a small lemon. Rub the cure into the flesh side of the fish and lay flesh to flesh together in a snug container. Leave for 30 minutes then rinse off thoroughly, pat dry and lay on Bradley steel wire baskets, spaced apart from each other. Leave the fillets to dry in a cool, airy place for an hour (not the fridge) whilst you heat the Bradley Smoker cabinet to 190°F/85°C, load with  Oak Bisquettes, and smoke for about 45 mins – 1 hour or until cooked to an internal temperature of 72°C.  Allow to cool then refrigerate until needed.

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Allow one fillet of smoked mackerel per person for a lovely, vibrant & flavoursome starter or light lunch. Place room temperature baby beetroots on plates or shallow bowls and scatter with peppery rocket leaves. Heat the mackerel fillets under the grill, turning once, then cut into pieces and scatter over the salad. Make a thick emulsion dressing by mixing a rounded tsp Dijon mustard with ½ tsp runny honey and 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar to a paste. Now beat in 3 tbsp sunflower oil a little at a time until you have a thick emulsion. Finally, add a rounded tsp creamed hot horseradish sauce and beat again. Add drops of the dressing to the salads and serve with warm, crusty brown bread.

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