Pan-grilled Mackerel with Maître d’Hôtel Butter*

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Simply Delicious: Book 1

Simply Delicious

By Darina Allen

Published 1989

  • About


  • 8 fillets of very fresh mackerel (allow 170 g/6 ozs fish for main course, 85 g/3 ozs for a starter) seasoned flour small knob of butter

Maître d’Hôtel Butter

  • 55 g/2 ozs/4 level tablesp. butter
  • 4 teasp. finely-chopped parsley
  • juice of ½ lemon


  • segment of lemon
  • parsley


First make the Maître d–Hôtel Butter. Cream the butter, stir in the parsley and a few drops of lemon juice at a time. Roll into butter pats or form into a roll and wrap in greaseproof paper or tin foil, screwing each end so that it looks like a cracker. Refrigerate to harden.

Heat the grill pan. Dip the fish fillets in flour which has been seasoned with salt and freshly-ground pepper. Shake off the excess flour and then spread a little butter with a knife on the flesh side, as though you were buttering a slice of bread rather meanly. When the grill is quite hot but not smoking, place the fish fillets butter side down on the grill; the fish should sizzle as soon as they touch the pan. Turn down the heat slightly and let them cook for 4 or 5 minutes on that side before you turn them over. Continue to cook on the other side until crisp and golden. Serve on a hot plate with some slices of Maître d–Hôtel Butter and a segment of lemon.

Maître d–Hôtel Butter may be served directly on the fish, or if you have a pretty shell, place it at the side of the plate as a container for the butter. Garnish with parsley and a segment of lemon.