Jock’s Grilled Stuffed Mackerel


I dream of landing a plump sea bass but the only fish I catch in Devon is the humble mackerel. However, very fresh mackerel tastes like a prince offish. It has a beautiful soft yet dense texture and a characteristic flavour which is at its best when grilled so that the blackened skin adds a hint of smokiness. The inspiration for this recipe comes from a family friend who visits every summer.


  • 75 g (3 oz) blanched almonds, chopped
  • A few sprigs of fresh tarragon
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons fresh brown breadcrumbs
  • 1 small egg (size 4), beaten lightly
  • 4 small–medium mackerel, gutted through the gills and heads removed
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Lime or lemon wedges and tarragon to garnish


Toast the almonds in a dry frying pan over a high heat. Put in a bowl. Pull the leaves off the tarragon, chop roughly and add to the almonds with the garlic. Stir in the breadcrumbs and egg and season.

Preheat the grill to the highest possible heat. Using a sharp knife, make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts on the side of each mackerel. Spoon the stuffing mixture into the body cavities of the fish and lay the fish on a grill rack. Cook under the preheated grill for about 5 minutes on each side until the flesh of the fish is opaque. Garnish and serve at once.