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Fish Recipes from the Sail Loft

Why not try your hand at this delicious mackerel recipe by our head chef, Gregory Milne

This recipe or in old terms “receipt” (which implies a more distinguished ancestry) relies on the fiddly, messy and downright tricky technique of spatchcocking a whole mackerel so best leave this to your fishmonger.

The flavoured compound butter Is a rather playful derivation on the well established “devilled butter”. This version is indeed more like the demon himself - hot, strong and intense although this makes “the lord of the underworld” sound more like Khal Drogo than Lucifer. Alas, this hot sauce is perfect in matching the strong oily qualities of Mackerel, you won't need the full amount and thusly will keep in your fridge for a few weeks no problem.

2 fresh line-caught mackerel – eyes crystal clear and gills blushing rouge – spatchcocked

Satan’s Butter

250g Good salted butter
20ml tabasco
2 tsp sweet Paprika
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp English mustard powder
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp fine Lilliput capers – if you can't find any, use regular capers and chop well
Salt to taste


Firstly bring the block of butter up to room temperature and decant into a mixing bowl.add all ingredients and bring together with a spatula.  Check the seasoning and tub the mixture up or wrap in clingfilm and roll into a log. Set in the fridge.

To complete the dish take the prepared mackerel out of the fridge at least half an hour before cooking. Oil and season both sides of the mackerel and lay skin side up on a baking tray. Turn the grill on.

Pop the mackerel under the grill, on the top shelf and cook on a fairly high heat for 2 – 3 minutes. The skin should be toasty and blistered while the flesh remains beautifully blushed pale pink, almost what you’d call medium-rare.

Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of the Satan’s butter in a small saucepan for a few minutes to cook out the spices and set aside. Pull the mackerel out and rest for a few minutes before serving. Slip the mackerel onto individual plates and spoon over the butter to cover.

Serve with a crisp green salad and some beautiful bread. Bang.