:: BBQ Mackerel with lemon and Smoked Sea Salt

September 18, 2009 at 6:42 am 3 comments

Mackerel is one of those types of food that, in my life, I have always just taken for granted, like pasta or potatoes. We have been catching them just off Howth head since I was a kid, and they have always been there reminding us that summer has started. With the first catch, comes that familiar fresh taste, lost in the months of winter, and savoured with every bite, but which regrettably soon becomes the norm and less of a novelty for lazy summer evening meals.

With the last days of this years summer well and truly behind us, and mackerel season coming to a close, last weekend we cooked up the final humongous  pile of mackerel which were all individually, neatly wrapped in tinfoil and thrown in the freezer, upon their arrival from boat to land. The fish tasted almost as good as fresh and only needed the simple additional flavouring from a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of smoked sea salt and ground black pepper.

BBQ Mackerel with lemon and Smoked Sea Salt

There are so many things that you can do with fish on a barbecue, but sometimes its nice to keep things simple, a few herbs, maybe some garlic butter or just plain lemon and salt will bring the natural flavours alive. If you are freezing mackerel, freeze the same day you get it, make sure to use within 3 months, and defrost in the fridge. You may notice a change in the texture of the fish but it shouldn’t be too significant.

1-2 gutted mackerel per person, depending on size
A drizzle of olive oil
2 lemons
A good pinch of smoked sea salt
A good pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Tin foil to cover the mackerel

Wrap the mackerel individually in tinfoil, and place on a hot barbecue.
Cook for 4-5 minutes either side, it’s a bit of a guessing game but open the tinfoil to check if the fish is cooked through.
Take the wrapped fish off the barbecue and remove the tinfoil.
Place the fish on a large serving dish and drizzle with a little olive oil.
Generously squeeze lemon juice over the fish, and season with smoked sea salt and black pepper.
Serve straight away!


Entry filed under: BBQ, fish, lemon, mackerel.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. James  |  September 18, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Tasty tasty. I was thinking the other day it might be good to try this with a kettle BBQ, laying the fish on the foil on the grill rather than wrapping it up, closing the lid and letting the smoke get at it. If you dropped herbs or bark chips on to the coals too… maybe next year…..

  • 2. Nina Timm  |  September 18, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    These pictures are just awesome and it is a most inviting platter of fish…It is a social meal to be enjoyed by loved ones!!!

  • 3. Donal  |  September 18, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Hey James,
    Yeah definitely that would be delicious! Your giving me ideas! 🙂

    Hey Nina,
    Absolutely, everyone over here enjoyed it for sure. 🙂


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