Friday 18 November 2011

Smoked Mackerel Pâté

I've made this pâté well over a hundred times during the last twenty years or so and I'm still making it!  I think it's lasting appeal has something to do with it's speed and simplicity,  not to mention the taste!

Many mackerel pâtés contain a long list of ingredients such as cream, cheese, capers, horseradish etc. but this one doesn't. I can't see the point of adding lots of other flavours to something as distinctive as smoked mackerel.  Just freshly squeezed lemon juice, some dairy free margarine and seasoning are all you need. Serve with some crispy granary baguettes or freshly made toast and a colourful salad for a fabulous lunch or starter.

I've actually never weighed the ingredients before writing the recipe today and it's always turned out fine so just use the recipe as a guide and be your own judge of flavour!

Ingredients                                                                  Serves 4

Approx. 260g Smoked Mackerel Fillets 
75g Dairy Free Margarine, such as Pure
Juice of 1 small lemon (or half a large one)
Freshly ground pepper


Remove the skin from the mackerel and any little bones that run down the middle of the fillet.  Transfer to a food processor and add about three quarters of the lemon juice and a good grinding of black pepper.

Place the margarine in a small dish, microwave for a minute or so until just melted, then add to the other ingredients.

Process until smooth. Check for taste and add more lemon juice and seasoning,  if necessary.

Turn the mixture into a serving dish or individual ramekins and use a fork to swirl the top if you like.

Chill for several hours to set.   Serve with some hot toast or warm crispy bread and salad.



  1. Absolutely wonderful! This will stay with me for at least the next 20 years! (Provided I have that much time left).
    The simple things often taste best. Something we often seem to forget, especially when we expect guests at our table. So thank you, Rhona, for reminding us!

  2. thanks for posting this. i was looking around to see what alternatives there were to cream cheese. have you tried humus instead of the margarine? i was trying to think of something with a similar consistency to cream cheese. sounds a bit odd, but perhaps it would work? i may try it...

    1. Thanks Andrew. I've never used humus with smoked mackerel but I'm sure it would be worth a try!
      Maybe you could use half margarine, half humus to start with to see whether you like the taste.

    2. Thank you for this idea. I added a spoonful of horseradish sauce to mine - it was perfect!