I saw this recipe on the television a couple of weeks ago while flicking through the less frequented satellite channels, Hugh’s mackerel, oatmeal, rhubarb, taken from Hugh’s Three Good Things on More4. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has recognised a simple pattern that underpins so many well-loved dishes – that they are little more or less than three good things on a plate.
This trifecta of ingredients fits that bill to perfection and tastes as good as it looks
Serves 2 – Gluten Free
- 2 medium-thick rhubarb stems or 3–4 smaller, thinner ones (about 150g)
- 20g caster sugar
- A pinch of thyme leaves
- 4 mackerel fillets from 2 medium fish (I get my fishmonger to fillet and scale the fish for me)
- 100g medium oatmeal (use Gluten Free Oatmeal, like Hale and Hearty’s Pure Gluten Free Porridge Oats, for the Gluten Free version)
- Sunflower oil for frying
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Trim the rhubarb, then cut into 2–3cm pieces.
- Place in a pan with the sugar, thyme leaves, if using, and 1 tablespoon water.
- Partially cover with a lid and cook gently, at a bare simmer, for 5–7 minutes. Don’t stir the rhubarb or it will lose its shape.
- When it is tender, remove the pan from the heat.
- Season the mackerel fillets all over with salt and pepper.
- Spread out the oatmeal on a plate, I sieved the oatmeal first and used the larger grains that were left in the sieve
- Coat the fillets on both sides, pressing the oatmeal on well and gently shaking off any loose bits. (For a decent coating, the mackerel should be ‘tacky’. If the oatmeal doesn’t stick, brush the fillets with just a little milk, and try again.)
- Heat about 2 tablespoons oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat.
- Add the mackerel fillets, flesh side down, and cook for 3 minutes, until the oatmeal coating is crispy and golden brown.
- Then carefully flip them over and cook for 2 minutes on the skin side, until cooked through.
- Transfer the fish to warm plates and accompany with a spoonful of the warm rhubarb compote.
Serve with bread (the Cheese Soda Bread works well here) and a fresh green salad.