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Smoked mackerel brandade

Simon Boyle

Usually made with salted cod, my version of a brandade uses a favourite oily fish of mine - mackerel.


Stuff you'll need

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1. Pick and blanch the parsley until very tender. Drain and squeeze dry then in a liquidiser, blitz with the olive oil and a pinch of salt for 2 minutes. Hang in a muslin overnight and collect the dark green parsley oil from underneath.

2. Cook the baking potato on a bed of salt in a hot oven until tender. 

3. Pour the milk in a saucepan and add the bay, thyme and garlic cloves bruising them to release their flavour. Bring to the boil and place in the fish and then turn off the heat. Leave the fish to rest in the milk for a few minutes and then carefully flake the fish leaving behind any bones and skin.

4. This part takes a little imagination on the side of the cook – the more olive oil we can emulsify into the brandade the more indulgent the texture will be. Too little and the puree will be coarse – too much and it will be an oily mess on the plate. Start by putting the flaked mackerel in a food processor with a third of its volume of potato. Add a good ladleful of the poaching milk and start to blend the mixture. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil as if you were making a mayonnaise until you have a silky smooth mixture. You might need to add a little more milk or potato if the mixture is getting too claggy (milk) or wet (potato). Finally season the mixture with ground white pepper. Either keep the mixture warm if you will use it immediately, or refrigerate. If you refrigerate the mix you will need to warm it very gently on a low heat with a splash of milk so it doesn’t burn.

5. Toast slices of baguette rubbed with a clove of garlic. Spoon the warm brandade on top and dress with a little of the parsley oil. Sprinkle over the smoked paprika and serve straight away.

200g Forman’s smoked mackerel
500ml whole milk
1 sprig of thyme
2 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic
1 large baking potato
400ml olive oil
250ml extra virgin olive oil
Ground white pepper
½ bunch flat parsley
200ml olive oil
Thinly sliced baguette toasted, rubbed with garlic
Ground smoked paprika 

Serves:  10 sharing
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes