Dips Fish Mackerel Recipes Special Diets Vegetarian

Smoked Mackerel Pâté

Smoked Mackerel Pate Recipe

There we have it, folks – to all intents and purposes, Christmas is over for another year, though I do hope that each and every one of your trees will remain erect until the 6th of January. Of course, this means that it is no longer reasonable to post any further overtly festive recipes. Still, there’s no reason at all why you shouldn’t set eyes on one or two of the treats that found their way to the table on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Indeed, this recipe for smoked mackerel pâté is rather spectacular.

Mackerel is a much maligned fish, castigated for the exceedingly fishy nature of its flavour – an odd criticism to level against a fish. It seems a little unfair to attack an ingredient for being too much like itself… how overly human. However, your saviour may have just emerged if you do subscribe to this strange prejudice – the crème fraîche in this smoked mackerel pâté succeeds somewhat in offsetting the fishiness of the mackerel. It allows the fish to regain a little of its subtlety and gifts the dill and lemon a chance to shine on through.

Smoked Mackerel Pate Recipe

This pâté is slightly different from the set variation (chicken liver pâté for instance), in that it is a lot softer and easier to spread. In my opinion, this makes it far more suited for use as an aperitif, purely because it is lighter and is unlikely to impact on one’s enjoyment of the main culinary event. There are a few smoked mackerel pâté recipes that do tend toward the set variety, but these should be largely ignored – the texture simply doesn’t suit the delicacy of fish. Also, one ought to refrain from adding too much crème fraîche or cream, since a sloppy pâté is almost as regrettable as a hard one!

For those of you who missed my Christmas 2012 recipes, please visit my Facebook page, or retreat to the main page of FrugalFeeding!

Also, if you’d like a recipe that makes good use of intact smoked mackerel, why not try this smoked mackerel risotto?

Smoked Mackerel Pâté

Makes 2 large ramekins


• 3 smoked mackerel fillets, skinned

• 2 heaped tbsp full-fat crème fraîche

• 100g cream cheese

• 1 tsp horseradish sauce

• A small handful of fresh dill

• The juice of half a lemon

• Pepper


1. Throw all of the ingredients together in a food processor and blend until reasonably smooth. However, it’s nice if some larger chunks of mackerel remain.

Smoked Mackerel Pate Recipe

2. Serve as a dip, or spread onto bruschetta along with a sprig of dill for each.

Smoked Mackerel Pate Recipe

Cost: Smoked mackerel is a relatively cheap, but wonderfully flavoursome source of protein – in fact it is one of my favourite meats. Given that this recipe yields two large ramekins full of pâté, the price of £3 for both is entirely frugal and far less than any shop-bought smoked mackerel pâté of equivalent quality.

52 replies on “Smoked Mackerel Pâté”

I am a vegan…I don’t even EAT smoked mackerel…why on EARTH am I saving this recipe?! I am saving it because we too have a smoker…Steve is just starting to enjoy pootling about on the river in his dinghy…the next step is casually tossing a line into the river to attempt to catch some of the elusive flathead that is such a delicious sweet white fish…and the stage after that is what to do with a glut of a newly addicted fisherman’s catch when you have exhausted “simple pan fried” and “egg and crumbed”…and smoking and pates are the next step…again, a “must save” recipe! My recipe folder now has 3.05Gig of word documents and saved PDF’s in it…no small feat but definately because of amazing blogs like this one. Thank you again for your wonderful, simple, soul food recipes and thank you in advance for this lovely looking pate that I can use with the cocky salmon (the overflow young salmon that they toss into the river because they are over their quota at the fish farm and that are quite simply the easiest thing to catch if you navigate your small aluminium dinghy around near said fish farm… 😉 ) that Steve will no doubt be bringing home by the bucketfull with the maniacal addicted eyes of the fishing “converted” 🙂

yum, yum, and yum. so THIS is what to do with smoked mackeral! I’ve bought it before and not gone beyond particular pungent cheese sandwiches, but this makes complete sense. And I totally feel you on pates at this time of year – I’m itching to make one for new years, although probably a pork liver classic. (then again, if I get my hands on some fish…. )

I am one of those weirdos who can’t seem to work up much enthusiasm for small oily fish. I know! I’m a bad foodie!!!

But I like small oily fish smoked. And this looks like a perfect little New Year’s canape 🙂

This looks so delicious. I can’t wait to try it. I used to work as a fish monger and a lot of people overlooked the poor mackerel for, like you said, the paradox of it being too like itself. I love it though. My brother has a smoker and I will persuade him to help me out with this over the weekend.

You talked me into it! I am not usually one to read the ‘back story’ of a dish, but you write about them so well, I did!

Were I come from mackerel is considered a delicacy. In stark contrast, when I was in New Zealand, the only mackerel available was pre-cooked canned mackerel. Such a waste of such fine taste.

Most tasty mackerel is steamed or lightly smoked. When it is steamed, is has a soft and rich taste. When smoked it has a more distinctive taste. And when it is fresh and backed in butter, it’s pure define.

I like the recipe. I use it for canned fish like tuna. A hint of garlic is can be a nice addition.

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