Mackerel Run Down

In Barbados a ‘run down’ or an ‘oil down’ is the name for a stew combining different ingredients. Pat Byres, the famous West Indian silversmith, gave me this recipe. It sounds strange to our palates but it is very good, and as mackerel are only edible plain if they are straight from the sea, it is an excellent way of dealing with the ones we can buy.


  • 4 mackerel, filleted
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 6 tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
  • oil
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • a dash of West Indian hot pepper sauce
  • salt and freshly ground pepper


In a lidded frying pan fry up the onions and tomatoes in a little oil. When the onions are soft, add the mackerel and sauté slightly. Add the coconut milk and hot sauce. The amount of hot sauce is really to your individual taste, but be cautious. Season. Cover and cook gently for 15 minutes.