Mackerel in White Wine

Maquereaux au Vin Blanc

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Servings:


Appears in

Simple French Food

By Richard Olney

Published 1974

  • About

A cold hors d’oeuvre that should be prepared at least 1 day in advance and that will continue to improve over a period of 3 or 4 days.


  • 2 pounds small (Boston) mackerel, cleaned, heads removed, rinsed, left whole if no more than 6 inches long, cut into 2-inch lengths if larger
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • 1 bottle dry white wine
  • Handful branches and fragments of fennel (or healthy pinch of fennel seeds)
  • Several branches of oregano and thyme (or large pinch crumbled dried herbs)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Small bouquet parsley (including scraped parsley root, if possible)
  • Slight teaspoon coriander grains
  • Salt
  • 4 or 5 unpeeled, crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 large onion, sliced into fine rings
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely sliced
  • 15 to 20 peppercorns


Arrange the mackerel in a large oiled saucepan or plat à sauter. In another saucepan bring the white wine to a boil, add all the other ingredients except the peppercorns, and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes. Add the peppercorns, pour the boiling liquid over the mackerel, return it to a boil, and maintain at a bare simmer, covered, for 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the fish to a non-metallic container (an earthenware gratin dish is a logical and attractive container for conserving and serving), discarding all or most of the parsley and fennel branches. Refrigerate, covered, after cooling. Serve chilled.