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Sunday, February 25, 2024
HomePastaMackerel ‘in Saor’ (Sgombro in Saor) – Stefan's Connoisseur Weblog

Mackerel ‘in Saor’ (Sgombro in Saor) – Stefan’s Connoisseur Weblog

A traditional and scrumptious dish from Venice is pesce in saôr, which doesn’t imply ‘bitter’ fish however ‘flavored’ fish (saôr comes from ‘sapore’). The recipe was invented in Venice as a technique to protect fish, and regardless that we’ve fridges these days we nonetheless make it as a result of it’s so tasty!

Within the conventional recipe, white fish is dredged in flour, fried in oil, after which marinated in sautéed onions with white wine, vinegar, raisins, pine nuts, and cinnamon. I posted a lighter model with mackerel cooked sous vide 10 years in the past in this publish. Whenever you use white fish, the refined taste of the fish might be overpowered by the marinade. Mackerel has a pleasant however stronger style which you could nonetheless style. The creaminess of the mackerel goes effectively with the candy & bitter marinade.

Now I’ve developed a better technique with out utilizing sous vide, that provides nearly the identical consequence: prepare dinner the mackerel within the residual warmth of the marinade, moderately than cooking the mackerel sous vide after which placing it in a chilly marinade. The one different change I’ve made to my recipe from 10 years in the past is that I’ve diminished the quantity of vinegar, and improved the plating.


For 4 servings

  • Fillets of two recent mackerels, about 400 grams (0.9 lbs) [Ask your fishmonger to fillet the mackerel and to remove the skin.]
  • 2 massive onions, halved and sliced
  • 300 ml (1 1/4 cup) dry white wine
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) good high quality white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 40 grams (4 Tbsp) white raisins
  • 20 grams (2 Tbsp) pine nuts
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp floor cinnamon
  • salt and freshly floor white pepper
  • 1 Tbsp minced recent flat leaf parsley


Season the mackerel with salt on each side.

Then cowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate whilst you put together the marinade. Salting the mackerel earlier than will enable the salt to penetrate into the fish, which is able to enhance each taste and texture.

Warmth 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan. The frying pan ought to have the proper measurement for the mackerel fillets in a single layer. Add 2 sliced onions and season with salt. The salt will draw out some liquid, serving to to melt the onions.

Stir the onions over medium warmth till they’re delicate and golden. They need to not stay crunchy and mustn’t develop into crispy or brown. This may take about half an hour and common stirring (doesn’t should be continually, however at the least each jiffy).

Within the meantime, toast 20 grams of pine nuts within the oven for about 8 minutes at 180C/350F. You may also toast them in a dry frying pan, however that takes fixed stirring to toast them evenly.

When the onions are delicate and golden, deglaze with 300 ml dry white wine.

Carry the wine to a boil, and add a bay leaf, the pine nuts, and 40 grams of white raisins.

Add 1/4 teaspoon floor cinnamon…

…and 80 ml white wine vinegar.

Simmer the marinade…

…till the liquid has been diminished by half.

Within the meantime, take away the central bones from the mackerel, by chopping alongside the bones on each side. You’ll find yourself with skinny strips of flesh with bones in them, which you discard.

When the marinade is finished, flip off the warmth and switch the contents of the pan to a bowl (I used a big glass measuring cup). Prepare the mackerel in a single layer on the underside of the pan, which remains to be heat.

Pour the recent marinade over the fish.

Distribute the onions, such that all the fish is roofed. Press down on the fish with a spatula as wanted to submerge it as a lot as attainable. Enable the residual warmth of the marinade to prepare dinner the fish.

After 3-4 minutes, flip the fish round to verify it’s cooked evenly. It isn’t an issue if the fish breaks up into massive items, as you’ll have to break it up within the subsequent step anyway.

Subsequent enable the fish to chill to room temperature, uncovered, after which cowl it up and refrigerate it to chill utterly.

About half an hour earlier than serving, take the fish out of the fridge and plate it. Place a steel meals ring with a diameter of 8 centimeters (3 inches) on every plate. Break the fish up into chunks and divide them equally among the many rings, urgent down with a spoon to flatten the layer of fish inside every ring. Discard the bay leaf.

Subsequent, spoon the marinade on prime of the fish, together with all the liquid.

And at last, sprinkle with the parsley.

Carry the plates to the desk with the rings, then take away the rings.

Wine pairing

The dish is barely candy from the raisins, as good acidity from the vinegar, and the mackerel is creamy. We loved it with an oak-aged Pinot Gris from the Netherlands (Apostelhoeve), that has larger acidity than Pinot Gris normally has. A extra simply accessible alternative could be a German Riesling that could be very barely off dry (however nonetheless ‘Trocken’) and creamy, so a dry Spätlese or Auslese.


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