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Fine Tart of Cured Mackerel Radish and Balsamic By Stephen McLaughlin, Head Chef at Andrew Fairlie @ Gleneagles

Posted on: November 25, 2010     |     0 comments

Stephen McLaughlin Head Chef at Gleneagles Resturant

Tart Base (makes 20 bases)

2 sheets filo pastry

50g melted butter

1tsp thyme leaves

10g grated parmesan

Onion Confit

1 white onion (thinly sliced)

25ml olive oil

40g unsalted butter

Caster sugar

Salt and pepper

Cured Mackerel

2 whole fresh mackerel

50g rock salt

200ml water

200ml rice wine vinegar

Juice of 1 lemon

3 tbsp caster sugar

1 tbsp toasted cumin seeds

Seaweed & Cumin Condiment

1 tbsp toasted cumin seeds

2 sheets Nori seaweed

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

4 tbsp peanut oil

2 tbsp warm water


  • Lay the first sheet of filo onto a flat surface and brush with some of the melted butter. Sprinkle the thyme and cheese onto the butter then top with the second sheet of filo.
  • Cut the filo into rectangles 10cm x 3.5cm.
  • Lay the rectangles evenly between two silpat mats and then place the mats onto a baking tray.
  • Bake at 180°C for exactly 8 minutes.
  • In a heavy bottomed pot with a tight fitting lid, heat the oil and add the butter. Cook the butter gently until foamy but not nutty.
  • Add the onions along with a pinch of salt and pinch of sugar to the pot. Cover with the lid and cook gently for 25 minutes without any colour.
  • Remove the lid and cook for a further 15 minutes uncovered.
  • Check the seasoning. Drain the onion into a colander.
  • Keep in an airtight container until needed.
  • Fillet the mackerel but leave the pin bones in.
  • Cover the mackerel skin side and flesh side with the salt.
  • Make sure the full 50g of salt is used.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour then wash off the salt under gently running cold water.
  • Dissolve the sugar in the lemon juice then whisk in the remaining ingredients.
  • Put the mackerel into a suitable container skin side up.
  • Pour over the marinade. Chill for 1 hour.
  • Using sharp kitchen shears snip the Nori into a spice grinder, add the cumin seeds and grind to a powder.
  • Place the cumin/seaweed powder into a bowl and whisk in the mustard and peanut oil.
  • Adjust the consistency with a little of the warm water if needed.
  • Put the mixture into a small piping bag until needed.


Radish Salad

4 thinly sliced red radish

60g julienne black radish

30g diced raw cucumber

Orange & Honey Dressing

150 ml tomato ketchup

50 ml clear honey

25ml sesame oil

Juice ½ small orange


  • Spread a little of the onion confit onto the tart base.
  • Thinly slice the mackerel and arrange neatly onto the onion. Season each slice of the mackerel with a spot of seaweed and cumin condiment.rizzle a few drops of soy & balsamic vinaigrette onto the radish and cucumber then neatly arrange onto a serving plate.
  • Place the mackerel tart under a very hot grill for a few seconds then place onto your serving plate.
  • Drizzle with a little orange & honey dressing.
  • Serve at once.


Soy & Balsamic Vinaigrette

50ml light soy sauce

50ml balsamic vinegar

25ml sesame oil

125ml light olive oil

1 small very finely diced clove of garlic

25g very finely diced fresh ginger


  • Whisk all above ingredients together.

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