I have to confess that I can’t really identify a distinctive Welsh dish except for something with “lamb” or leeks and maybe Laverbread. To celebrate St David’s Day, I made this Mackerel recipe with a Welsh twist from this fab cookbook.
Bryn Williams is the Welsh chef patron of Odette’s in Primrose Hill and the ambassador for the Taste of Wales Campaign in London. In his new book, Bryn’s Kitchen, he has championed 20 seasonal local ingredients and has come up with 5 recipes for each of them. The recipes are not fussy or cheffy and can be easily done by an enthusiastic home cook. You can win a copy of his book below.
Salt and Vinegar Cured Mackerel recipe
This recipe is a lovely fresh way to serve Mackerel. It is made with thin slices of raw fish, brushed with some wine vinegar dressing flavoured by the fab Welsh product Halen Mon sea salt. The final dish is garnished with some pretty radish, lemon zest and shallots and for a little extra colour, I added some of this fabulous new zingy Wasabi Rocket salad leaf from Asda (the recipe suggests using some cress.)
One tip is to buy the larger Mackerel fillets from your fishmonger and use a very sharp knife to cut the slices of fish. Get them to fillet and skin the fish for you to make it easier. I could only get small mackerels so the slices of fish was not very pretty.
Salt and Vinegar Cured Mackerel
- 6 large mackerel fillets skinned and sliced as thinly as possible, like smoked salmon
- 50 ml chardonnay vinegar
- 100 ml olive oil
- a large pinch of good Welsh sea salt
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 shallot peeled and sliced into rings
- 2 radishes trimmed and sliced
- 50 g cress
- Place the sliced mackerel straight onto your serving dish.
- Mix the vinegar and oil together in a bowl, and brush all over the mackerel. Season with a good pinch of the Welsh sea salt.
- Dress the shallot rings and sliced radish with the remaining dressing. Arrange them evenly over the mackerel. Scatter with the lemon zest, the cress salad and a good grinding of fresh pepper.
- Serve with a Beetroot Purée drizzled around the fish.
Chardonnay vinegar is now widely available, but, if you can’t get it, use the best white wine vinegar you can find. You don’t want something that’s too sharp. Note:
Recipe taken from Bryn’s Kitchen by Bryn Williams, published by Kyle Cathie. Photography: Jonathan Gregson.
What is special about the Welsh Halen Mon Sea Salt?
We used Halen Mon Sea Salt PDO in this recipe. It is a fine sea salt and is highly rated by chefs. The flavour when used in recipes in unlike that of the bog standard table salt that you get in plastic jars. I would not use it to salt pasta water but instead to sprinkle on dishes as a garnish or use it to flavour dishes. It’s a family business and they even have a Protected Designation of Origin status, like Parma Ham and Champagne. It is made from from filtered Anglesey sea water like in a similar process that was done for hundreds of years. The sea water is heated until the pure white salt crystals form and is then hand harvested. Every pack is hand packed and has the harvest date and the salt maker’s name. Besides the plain sea salt, they also sell flavoured salts like vanilla, pepper and spice.
What is St Davids Day?
St David is the Patron Saint of Wales since the 12th Century. St David’s Day is celebrated on March 1st every year with parades through towns in Wales and dressing up in daffodil costumes. St David advised troops to wear a leek on their armour when going into battle against the Saxons to distinguish themselves and since then the leek has been adopted as a Welsh symbol.
In London, St David’s Day is celebrated by highlighting Welsh food and drink. Fortnums, John Lewis and Partridges will be showcasing the best that Wales has to offer in the next week.
Win a copy of Bryn’s Kitchen
Step 1. Just answer the question in the comments below: What is your favourite Welsh Ingredient?
Step 2. Fill in your name and email in the widget below. A winner will be drawn at random using this app. If you don’t complete the form in the app, you won’t have a chance to win.
Note: The book will be sent out by Food and Drink Wales.
Closing Date: 11 March 2016
Terms and Conditions
- This giveaway is open to all readers over 18 who live in the UK.
- The winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter (which uses random.org) and announced on this page.
- The winner will be contacted by e-mail, if they do not respond within a 7 days another winner may be chosen.
- The Taste of Wales team will be responsible for sending the prize to the winners.
- Their decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.