Mackerel with borscht salad

Give warm beetroot salad a starring role in this simple, healthy and inexpensive dinner
By Richard Corrigan
Mackerel with borscht salad
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the borscht salad

  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced into rings
  • 80 g butter
  • 400 g raw beetroot, peeled and grated
  • 5 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp red wine
  • 1 heaped tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-4 tsp freshly grated horseradish, or hot horseradish from a jar (not creamed horseradish), or to taste

For the dill crème fraîche

  • 6 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 3 tbsp dill
  • 1 tsp freshly grated horseradish, or hot horseradish from a jar (not creamed horseradish), plus extra to serve

For the mackerel

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 whole mackerel, cleaned, gutted and filleted (or 8 fresh mackerel fillets)


1. For the borscht salad: bring a small saucepan of water to the boil, add the onions and boil for 1 minute then drain and set aside.

2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat then add the grated beetroot, red wine vinegar, red wine and caster sugar. Season with salt and black pepper and give everything a good stir. Tuck in the bay leaf and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the beetroot is softened, then stir in the onion.

3. Stir in the horseradish and add a splash of boiling water if the mixture is too dry. Set aside, keeping warm.

4. For the dill crème fraîche: mix all of the ingredients together and set aside.

5. For the mackerel: heat the olive oil in a large, heavy based frying pan over a high heat. Fry the mackerel, skin-side-down, for 2-3 minutes, or until cooked two-thirds of the way through and the skin is crisp, then turn the mackerel and cook for a further 30 seconds.

6. To serve, spoon the borscht salad onto serving plates, top with the mackerel, skin-side-up, then spoon over the dill crème fraîche. Grate over a little extra horseradish, if you like.

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