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Robin’s home-smoked home-made mackerel pâté returns

Harvey’s are pleased to announce the return of a much loved tradition; Robin’s recipes. Each month (hopefully) Harvey’s Head Chef Robin will bring you a recipe to accompany our current seasonal brew.

I, Edmund, will be doing my best to hinder help and together we will document the event. Incidentally, we know that June’s recipe is a bit beer light but we’re a bit rusty.

This recipe has three parts:

  • Part I, Catching your Mackerel*
  • Part II, Smoking the Mackerel**
  • Part III, Making the Pâté***

*If you would prefer not to catch your own mackerel simply ignore this part and purchase pre-caught from your fishmonger or supermarket.

**If you would prefer not to smoke your own mackerel simply ignore this part and purchase pre smoked from your fishmonger or supermarket. However, Edmund comments “Speaking as someone who had never tried to smoke anything before, at least not without the intention of inhaling it, I would strongly recommend that, if you have the time, funds and space (it is most definitely an outdoor activity) you give it a try.  It sounds hugely impressive and gives maximum impact for very little effort, not to mention beautifully cooked fish.”

***If you would prefer not to make your own pâté simply ignore this part and purchase pre-made from your fishmonger or supermarket.


Serves: Two
Prep. 25 min


Four fillets of smoked mackerel

250mℓ of crème fraîche

2 tsp. of Lemon Juice

2 tbsp. of Copperwheat

Zest of an orange

Salt & pepper

Chill flakes & Garlic powder

1 tbsp. of chopped fresh coriander or chives



Flake the smoked mackerel into a bowl discarding the skin and bones.

Add the lemon juice, beer and coriander then mix.
Add the crème fraîche a spoon at a time and mix until the desired consistency is reached.

The mackerel will break apart very easily so take care not to overdo it.

Finally season to taste, garnish with the orange zest and serve on toast accompanied with a glass of Harvey’s draught or bottled Copperwheat.



To make ½ℓ of brine
Prep: approx. 2hrs


80mg salt

30mg caster sugar

Tsp. of ground white pepper

Tsp. of ground coriander

½ℓ of water

Oak chip



Place a sheet of tin foil inside your smoker with the wood chips on top to save tiresome cleaning later.
Oil the racks of the smoker to prevent the fish sticking. 
Light and load your smoker as per the maker’s instructions. 
The mackerel may be done in as little as 20 minutes so check them regularly.
During this time you may like to open a bottle, or two, of Copperwheat. 
Once the fish is cooked remove it from the smoker.


Mix the dry ingredients in a large jug.  Add as much boiling water as is necessary to dissolve the salt and sugar, then add the rest of the water and allow the mixture to cool.

While the brine is readying take the mackerel, you may fillet them yourself or, as we did, ask the fishmonger to do it for you, and lay the fillets in a shallow dish.

Pour the brine over the fillets until they are covered.

Allow them to marinade for 30 minutes.

Remove them from the brine and pat dry with kitchen towel.

We dried them out further by placing them on a baking tray in the oven with only the fan setting on for an hour.

Please refer to your oven manufacture’s handbook to see if this is an advisable thing to do.

Next prepare your smoker.

We used a portable smoker that cost around £50.

Free versions can be made using empty biscuit tins, see the internet for instructions.




1. Take some Copperwheat and a big rod to the seaside.

2. Drink some of the Copperwheat.

3. Attach your tackle to your line and cast into the wide blue yonder.

4. Reel in and see what tasty titbits you have caught.  Repeat steps 2-4 until your mackerel quota is reached or the Copperwheat is exhausted.

5. When the above fails pop into your local fishmonger and buy some Sussex mackerel.

6.  Return home and regale family with fishy tales.

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