Mackerel 52°C, elderberries, burnt aubergine, rock samphire
This was a dish I had on in autumn last year it is very comforting and seasonal but still light and fresh. The elderberries are picked in our meadows and sweet pickled in elderflower vinegar that we make earlier in the year, this gives it a real purity of flavour. The acidity and sweetness contrast perfectly against the oily earth flavour of the mackerel. With the Aubergine I burn it whole on a char-grill very slowly until soft. Keeping it whole means its natural water content remains inside so you don’t need to add any liquid when you blend it, which will dilute its flavours, when blending just add a splash of sherry vinegar and a pinch of sea salt. It has a very nice bitter/sour finish. The rock samphire has a very irony flavour which can be unpleasant when eaten alone but it’s great when balanced out with acidity on a plate. For another texture I finely shred raw mange tout and salt it for five minutes before putting it on the plate and put it under the mackerel for a nice crunch. The mackerel is lightly salted and cooked in a water bath at 52°C just the right temperature to breakdown the skin and keep the flesh moist.
The pictures below are courtesy of http://www.johnarandharablackwell.co.uk/ or @th3photographer on twitter.