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    Salad of smoked mackerel with pickled beetroot, watercress and horseradish

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    Salad of smoked mackerel with pickled beetroot, watercress and horseradish

    You’ll find many uses for the beetroot pickle. It’s best made with tender young beets and stored in well-sealed kilner jars. The horseradish sauce is fairly mild – if you want to really clear the sinuses, use as much more as you dare. It keeps for 2–3 days in the fridge.

    • Preparation time: 30 minutes
    • Cooking time: 1 hour, plus cooling
    • Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes 60 minutes 30 minutes


    • 2-3 tbsp Grated fresh horseradish (or 1 tbsp creamed horseradish)
    • 235ml White wine vinegar
    • 235g Caster sugar
    • 1 tsp Lemon juice
    • ¼ tsp English mustard
    • 1¼ tsp Salt
    • 200ml Double cream, softly whipped
    • 700g Beetroot, washed and stalks trimmed
    • 1 Onion, peeled and thinly sliced
    • 6 Smoked mackerel fillets, skinned and flaked
    • 100g Watercress and/or baby salad leaves
    • 20g Dill


    1. Start with the sauce. Put the grated horseradish in a bowl with 1 tsp each vinegar and sugar, the lemon juice, mustard, ¼ 1/4 tsp salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Fold in the whipped cream but do not overmix or the sauce will curdle.
    2. Place the beets in a pot, cover with cold water and add 1 tsp each salt and sugar. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 1 hour, depending on size, until tender. Drain and cool. Peel the beets, then slice, chop or dice.
    3. To make the pickle, dissolve the remaining sugar in 475ml water, bringing it to the boil. Add the sliced onion and simmer for 3–4 minutes, then add the remaining vinegar. Pour over the cooked beets in a bowl and leave to cool.
    4. To serve, scatter the mackerel and beetroot over the leaves and top with a blob or two of horseradish sauce. A few sprigs of dill add to the deliciousness.

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    Drinks recommendation

    A gewurztraminer goes well with strong flavours. Try this one, bursting with hints of spice, floral elements and tropical fruit. Paul Cluver Gewürztraminer 2007 Elgin, South Africa. Bin 585010; £9.99 (larger Waitrose branches only).


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