Mackerel with Gooseberry Sauce

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Times Calendar Cookbook

By Katie Stewart

Published 1977

  • About

Mackerel should be cooked with sharp or spicy ingredients that give them plenty of flavour. At this time of year they can be served with their traditional gooseberry sauce.


  • 2 large or 4 small mackerel
  • seasoned flour
  • 50 g/2 oz butter
  • juice of½ lemon


    Have the mackerel cleaned and cut into fillets. You can do it yourself by cutting the length of the fish along one side of the backbone. Insert the knife blade between the flesh and bone and gently lift the flesh away. Repeat on the second side of the fish to get two fillets from each.

    Dip each fillet in seasoned flour and shake off the surplus. Melt the butter in a frying pan, put in the mackerel fillets, flesh side down, and cook gently for 5 minutes. Turn and cook the second side. Lift the fish fillets from the pan and keep warm. Continue to heat the butter in the pan until it becomes a rich golden brown, then draw off the heat and add the lemon juice. Shake over the heat for a moment and pour over the fish. Serve with the hot gooseberry sauce, made as follows.

    Top and tail the gooseberries and place in a small saucepan with the water and butter. Cover and cook very gently until the gooseberries are quite soft. Rub the fruit through a sieve and return the purée to the saucepan. Add the sugar and cook gently until the sauce is smooth and about the consistency of apple sauce.