Mackerel rillettes

Rillettes of mackerel on toasted Irish Soda bread – by Michel Roux Jr

Serves 6 as an aperitif or a starter


To prepare the rillettes:

  • 1kg (or 6 fillets) of deboned mackerel
  • 1 bunch of chopped chives
  • ½ bunch of chopped flat parsley
  • 1 lemon (for the juice and zest)
  • 200g crème fraiche
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • A drizzle of olive oil

To prepare the Escabeche:

  • 1 spring onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 400ml white wine
  • 50ml white wine vinegar
  • 50ml water
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp crushed black peppercorn

To prepare the Irish Soda bread:

  • 200g wholemeal flour
  • 200g plain white flour
  • 50g porridge oats
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 350ml buttermilk


  1. Preheat your oven to 200 C – (Can be made beforehand)
  2. Mix together both flours, oats, bicarbonate, and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, and honey. Incorporate the liquid mix into the dry one using your hands to form a soft dough.
  3. This bread doesn’t need proofing; place directly into a greased loaf tin and bake for 45 to 50 minutes.

To prepare the Escabeche:

  1. Halve the fillets of mackerel lengthwise and place them flesh side down into a shallow dish.
  2. Peel and dice the spring onion and carrot into a brunoise (2mm cubes). Then place all of the ingredients, including the diced veggies into a pot and bring to the boil.
  3. After 2 minutes of boiling, pour the liquid over the filets of mackerel and seal the shallow dish with cling film. Leave the fish to cook and marinate until the liquid has completely cooled down. Separate the fillets from the liquid (without discarding) and remove the skin of the fish.
  4. Using a fork combine the mackerel flesh with olive oil, crème fraiche, lemon juice and mustard. If this mixture is too compact, add some of the escabeche liquid until you achieve the perfect rillettes texture. Finally, season to taste with salt, pepper, chopped herbs, the crunchy diced veggies and lemon zest.
  5. Slice thick wedges of Irish soda bread and place under the grill until beautifully toasted. Then spread the mackerel rillettes to your heart’s content.


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