Mackeral with Cumbrian air dried ham

North West Young Chef of the Year

North West Young Chef of the Year

Premium Supplier 11th October 2012

Mackeral with Cumbrian air dried ham

Starter cooked by Scott Fairweather at the North West Young Chef Competition 2012 Final


  • 2 x 600g fillets of freshly caught mackerel
  • 400g gooseberries
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 4 slices Cumbrian air dried ham
  • ½ x red pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • Micro celery cress
  • 1 lemon
  • 35g granulated sugar
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 1 x granny smith apple


Place the gooseberries in a pan with the sugar & a squeeze of lemon juice, simmer gently until softened, puree in a thermo mix until smooth then pass through a fine sieve & store in a squeezy bottle.
Wrap the air dried ham around a greased fondant cutter & tie in place with string at the top & bottom before baking at 180 degrees for 12 minutes until crisp. Allow to cool before carefully removing the ham ‘tube’.
Burn the red pepper in order to remove the skin, place on a baking tray with a drop of olive oil & bake at 200 degrees for 10 minutes to gain a strong roasted flavour. Allow to cool then finely dice & mix with olive oil, thyme leaves & Maldon sea salt.
Make sugar syrup using the granulated sugar & water. Pour this over 1 lemon, divided into segments. Leave to cool before serving.
Score the skin of the mackerel, season well then pan fry until crisp. Add a knob of unsalted butter to the pan then flip the fish over & remove from the heat.
To plate up, dot the gooseberry puree around a glass plate, place the fish & ham tube side by side. Top the ham with celery cress & top the fish with a tsp quenelle of red pepper. Garnish with confit lemon segments & julienne of apple.

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