An ingredient that I really love to use at The River Club is mackerel. Mackerel, in my opinion, is one of the most under-rated fish ever. It’s is not only one of the only sustainable fish left in our waters but is a fish that is at its best when it’s cooked very simply, in a pan with creamery butter, a squeeze of lemon juice and some chopped dill.

At The RiverClub, our mackerel comes from Ballycotton Seafood, but of course the best way to ensure freshness if you don’t have access to an artisan fishmonger is to brave the pier and catch it yourself.

Mackerel is a fish that needs to be served very soon after it has been caught but a recipe we use here that will keep your mackerel for up to a week is a simple mackerel pate, either on toast which makes a great canapé or starter, especially when it’s complemented with either pickled cucumber or beetroot. It’s also delicious with other seafood as part of a platter.



  • 4 medium mackerel fillets
  • 80grams softened creamery butter
  • 3tbsp crème fraiche
  • 1 tsp horseradish
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste



Lightly poach mackerel fillets.

Remove from cooking liquid and chill. Once cool, remove flesh from skin and place flesh in a bowl.

Combine all other ingredients with a fork until the mackerel has broken up into fine strands.

The mixture should have the consistency to quenelle; if it is to dry just add a little more crème fraiche.

Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving on toast with some pickled cucumber, beetroot or fresh dill.



Paul Lane is Executive Head Chef at The River Club, Cork