Gooseberry and green peppercorn chutney with mackerel

The tartness of the flavoursome chutney cuts through the richness of the fish in James Martin's easy recipe
By James Martin
Gooseberry and green peppercorn chutney with mackerel
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Makes about 900g chutney
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 600 g green or red gooseberries
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 300 ml cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp green peppercorns
  • 175 g raisins
  • 175 g brown sugar

For the mackerel

  • 15 g butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 mackerel, gutted and filleted

For the dressing

  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salad leaves, to serve


1. To make the chutney: put the gooseberries, onions, garlic, mustard and lemon juice in a preserving pan and pour over two- thirds of the vinegar. Add the peppercorns and bring to the boil.

2. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thick.

3. Add the raisins, sugar, the remaining vinegar and a pinch of salt. Stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved, then simmer for up to 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until thick and syrupy. Remove from the heat, leave to cool, then store in the fridge for up to a month. Alternatively, pour the hot mixture into hot sterilised jars, seal and store in a cool, dark place.

4. To make the mackerel: season the mackerel with salt and pepper.

5. Heat the butter and oil in a frying pan and fry the mackerel skin side down, pressing it into the pan to prevent curling, until crisp and brown. Turn the mackerel over and turn off the heat.

6. To make the dressing: mix the balsamic vinegar and oil and season with salt and pepper.

7. To serve: dress the salad leaves with most of the dressing and place in the middle of the plate. Place the mackerel to the side and drizzle with the remaining dressing. Serve the chutney on the side.

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