Celebrate Sustainable Shores with this recipe, created by Mark Greenaway, for Mackerel Two Ways, Beetroot Pickled Shallots & Wild Scottish Flowers

  • 160
  • 4
  • Hard
During October producers the length and breadth of Scotland have been celebrating 'Sustainable Shores'; an opportunity to embrace and explore the abundant larder in seas, lochs and along our coastlines.  Award-winning chef Mark Greenaway is no exception. Teaming up with Scotland's oldest brewer, Tennent's, this collaborative recipe is designed to showcase how to pair an inventive Scottish fish dish with beer; in this case, Tennent's Whisky Beer.  Over to Mark with more on what inspired the dish... The arrival of the Vikings in Scotland in the 8th century brought a whole host of new food preservation methods.   The Vikings knew that in order to survive cold winter months that the preservation of food was essential.   Pickling or sousing was just one of the methods that they introduced by preserving fresh ingredients in salt or vinegar.   This recipe incorporates these original preserving methods with one of Scotland’s most sustainable fish, mackerel, which pairs wonderful well with a glass of Tennent's Whisky Beer.  It is worth noting that this sousing liquor can be made to your liking so you can make it as sharp as you like or feel free to experiment by adding different spices or herbs as I have.


  • For the sousing liquor:
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200ml cider vinegar
  • 200ml water
  • 2 star anise
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 8 fillets mackerel, deboned
  • Beetroot Pickled Shallots
  • 4 shallots, peeled
  • 100ml beetroot juice
  • 25ml red wine vinegar
  • 4 coriander seeds
  • 1 star anise
  • For the mackerel tartare
  • The 4 diced mackerel fillets
  • 1 tbsp shallots, diced
  • 1 tsp gherkins, diced
  • 1 tsp capers
  • 1 tsp dill, chopped
  • To garnish:
  • ½ a cucumber, cubed into ½ cm dice
  • Fresh dill
  • Edible wild flowers


For the sousing liquor:

1 Make a dry caramel with the sugar till it turns a walnut brown colour

2 Add the water and remove from the heat

3 Add the vinegar, star anise, coriander seeds, mustard seeds and toasted sesame seeds

4 Leave the liquid to cool completely

5 Place all of the mackerel fillets into the liquid for 2 hours

6 Remove the fish from the liquor, then rinse well removing all of the seeds and spices and pat dry with kitchen paper

7 Keep 4 fillets whole and set aside, then remove the skin and dice into ½ cm cubes

Beetroot pickled shallots:

1 Peel the shallots into separate layers and set aside – this is done best by cutting each shallot into quarters and using a small knife just tease the layers apart

2 In a heavy based pan add all of the pickling ingredients and bring to the boil

3 Pour the boiling liquid over the shallots and leave to go cold

For the mackerel tartare:

Mix all of the ingredients together and check for seasoning, it shouldn’t need much because of saltiness of the capers and the sharpness of vinegar

For the soused and blackened mackerel:

1 Trim the 4 whole mackerel fillets into uniform rectangles, then score the skin with a very sharp knife 7-8 times

2 Blow torch the skin side to a caramelised blackened colour this will add sweetness and in effect cook the mackerel

3 Alternatively flash the fillets skin side up under a really hot grill

To Serve:

Plate all elements of the dish as per the image

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