As you may already know, I live in Scheveningen. That means I can easily get my hands on delicious and high-quality fish because it’s sold on almost every corner here. And let’s be honest, if you have a fish shop, it’s so much nicer than buying something from a supermarket, right? If you don’t have access to a fish shop, many supermarkets also offer fish, especially the type we need for this recipe. Mackerel is one of those fish species that you can catch right in the Dutch North Sea. There are even fishing trips you can book for it. It’s a tasty, fatty fish that works really well in delicious dishes, provided you know how to fillet a mackerel because that’s what sometimes holds people back from eating it (even though it’s soooo tasty). If you’re unsure, you can ask the fish shop if they can fillet the mackerel for you.
The following recipe is a delightful autumn/winter dish, perfect for warming up after a cold walk outside or when you’ve just come in from a chilly downpour. After this dish, you’ll be guaranteed to feel warmed up again.
2 large ovenproof dishes or a small baking dish
1 smoked mackerel
1 winter carrot
1 winter carrot
1 sweet onion
2 large floury potatoes
225 grams of crème fraîche
Grated aged cheese
- Preheat the oven or BBQ to 180°C (if using the BBQ, set it up for indirect grilling).
Clean the smoked mackerel and use a knife to make an incision along the length of the back. Carefully remove the skin from the mackerel. Then, remove the bones from the mackerel.
- Start at the head, where the top of the spine is located, and slowly cut the fish away from the spine on both sides. Open up the fish with the inside facing up. Use the tip of the knife to detach the entire backbone from the head to the tail. Make sure no bones are left behind, especially around the fins, as they may have small bones. It can be a bit meticulous, but it’s worth doing it properly. The more fish you have for the dish, the better.
- Cut the winter carrot into very small cubes and thinly slice the onion.
Scrub the potatoes clean and boil them in their skins for 10-15 minutes. Add the diced winter carrot in the last 5 minutes. Drain and let them cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, sauté the onions in a frying pan with some olive oil until they have a nice golden color. Be careful not to burn them.
- Cut the potatoes into small cubes and mix them with the diced winter carrot and onion rings.
- Place a layer of the potato mixture in the ovenproof dishes or baking dish. On top of this, add a layer of the mackerel, and then finish with the remaining potato, carrot, and onion mixture.
- Cover the entire dish with crème fraîche and sprinkle a generous layer of grated cheese on top.
- Place the ovenproof dishes with lids or the baking dish in the oven or on the BBQ. Note: If using a baking dish, cover it with aluminum foil.
- After 30 minutes, remove the lid or aluminum foil and let it cook for an additional 20 minutes in the oven or on the BBQ until the cheese is creamy and golden.
- Enjoy your meal!