Mackerel pasty with pickled cucumber salad

A tangle of tangy pickles are the perfect accompaniment to Mark Sargeant's fishy take on a Cornish classic
By Mark Sargeant
Mackerel pasty with pickled cucumber salad
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 1 hour marinating
  • Effort: easy


For the cucumber salad

  • 1 cucumber
  • pinch sugar
  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
  • splash cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp picked parsley, leaves

For the mackerel pasty

  • 2 fresh mackerel, cleaned and gutted, heads removed
  • 200 g pork sausage meat
  • 1 small handful parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 small handful tarragon, finely chopped
  • 1 pack all-butter puff pastry
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 1 egg, beaten

Tips and Suggestions

You can watch Mark make his pasty here.


1. For the cucumber salad: slice the cucumbers, lengthways, into thin strips using a vegetable peeler, avoiding the water seeds in the middle. Place the strips into a bowl.

2. Place the sugar, salt, mustard seeds and vinegar into a small non-reactive pan and gently heat until the sugar and salt has dissolved. Remove from the heat and pour over the cucumbers. Leave for at least one hour in the fridge to marinate.

3. For the mackerel pasty: butterfly the mackerel, keeping the tail intact, and carefully remove the back bone. Remove any pin bones. Season the inside of the mackerel with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

4. In a bowl, mix together the sausage meat, parsley and tarragon and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Divide the mixture into two equal portions and roll each portion into a small sausage shape. Place each portion into the cavity of the mackerel, then gently press the fish around the meat.

5. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

6. Roll the pastry out on a floured work surface and cut into two equal rounded rectangles. Place a mackerel into the middle of each piece of pastry, then fold the pastry over and crimp the edges together to seal. To decorate, make a pattern of scales in the pastry using the tip of a rounded knife or spoon.

7. Place the pasties onto a baking tray and brush with the beaten egg.

8. Bake the pasties for 15-20 minutes, or until piping hot throughout and the pastry is puffed and golden-brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to rest for 10 minutes.

9. Drain the cucumber and stir in the chopped parsley. Serve the cucumber salad alongside the warm pasties.

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