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Chef’s Table in Season

Warner's Taste Club - Grilled mackerel, beetroot salad with herb crème fraiche and hazelnut recipe
Warner's Taste Club - Grilled mackerel, beetroot salad with herb crème fraiche and hazelnut recipe

Grilled mackerel, beetroot salad with herb crème fraiche and hazelnut

Creative, contemporary cooking from head chef Cedrik Rullier of Wesley House in Winchcombe…

Chef's Notes

With autumn finally here and the long nights setting in, it’s time to enjoy simple, slow-cooked dishes. It truly is my favourite time of year in the kitchen. This recipe is typical of what we serve at the restaurant and whilst most people won’t have tried cooking pork cheeks before, it’s a very simple process. The cheeks release so much flavour whilst cooking along with the other ingredients to create a rich and indulgent sauce to go with the creamy mash and sweet roasted vegetables. Ask your local butcher about pork cheeks.

The Bridge is a relaxed riverside brasserie in an idyllic setting on the banks of the River Avon. Sadly the restaurant will be closing again due to the latest Government lockdown, but will continue to offer a takeaway service. Find out more here: thebridgeatbidford.com

Ingredients for Mackerel

  • 4 mackerel fillets
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Ingredients for Baked Beetroot

  • 4 red beetroot
  • 2 yellow beetroot
  • 2 candy beetroot
  • 2 tsp thyme leaves
  • 150ml olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Ingredients for Herb crème fraiche

  • 120ml crème fraiche
  • 25ml lemon juice
  • 1/2 lemon, zested
  • 1/2 tsp chives, chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  • 50g hazelnuts
  • Baby salad leaves

Crispy Spring Greens

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 3.
  • To make the herb crème fraiche, mix together the crème fraiche, pepper and a large pinch of salt. Add the lemon juice and zest. Whisk the mixture, add the chives and taste to ensure you have the correct seasoning. Place in the fridge to set.
  • To prepare the baked beetroot, rub the beetroot in the olive oil, then add 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of the thyme. Wrap in kitchen foil and place onto a wire rack in a tray and cook for 20-30 mins, depending on size. Once cooked, take out of the oven and leave to cool down on the rack.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the dressing by combining the ingredients in a jar.
  • Remove the foil from the beetroot once cooked and peel off the skin. Dice the beetroot and add the dressing and thyme leaves.
  • Trim the mackerel fillets so they are a clean, rectangle shape, and season. Grill for 4-5 minutes until the skin is golden and the fish is cooked through.
  • Toast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan until golden.

To Serve

  • Spoon some of the herb crème fraiche on to a plate, add the dressed beetroot salad. Place a mackerel fillet on top and finish with baby salad leaves and toasted hazelnuts.

To Serve

Take the casserole dish out of the oven and remove the pork cheeks. Pour the sauce through a sieve and discard the vegetables. The sauce can now go into a saucepan and reduce by one third – it will thicken on its own and will have a lovely shine to it. Add the cheeks and take off the heat.

That’s the hard work done!

Heat the mash slowly, place onto the plate, along with the vegetables from the oven. Place three pork cheeks on top, pour over some sauce and enjoy!

To drink

Warner's Taste Club - Grilled mackerel, beetroot salad with herb crème fraiche and hazelnut recipe

Mackerel needs a crisp wine with good acidity to cut through the oiliness. As well as a classic white pinot grigio, you could look at a blush rosé, such as La Delfina Pinot Grigio Blush from Italy. Crisp and dry, with strawberry and raspberry flavours and mouth-watering acidity – check out Wine of the Month for more!

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