Blow-torched Kentish mackerel with a fresh mackerel tartare, slow roasted home grown beetroot cubes, pickled shallot rings, home grown winter purslane, horseradish cream, dill oil and a cumin seed flatbread.

Anya Goodman

Anya Goodman from Roseacre Junior School in Maidstone 2018 finalist

The biggest thing that inspired me to make this dish is the fact humans (especially children) do not consume enough omega-3 and Vitamin C in their diet although it is vital for brain development our body does not produce these substances. Therefore, I have included both mackerel and purslane in my dish as they are both high in not just omega-3 but also many other vitamins including Vitamin C. This is not the only reason I used purslane in my dish the other reason was it grows in my garden so I could pick it the seconds before it went on the plate plus purslane resembles a mild, peppery taste.<br />


*Fillet of mackerel:

First sharpen your knife to make sure your cuts are clean and precise. Use a fresh whole mackerel. Place the mackerel on you chopping board sideways and cut a v shape just under the fin and repeat on the other side next when the head seems loose wrap your hand around the head and pull the head should come off with the guts. Place the head and guts in a food waste caddy. To cut the fish into two fillets you will need to cut down the upper side of the backbone. You should feel the bone as you cut. Repeat on the underside. Now you should have one side with a tail and on without a tail, cut off the tail. If you run your fingers down the fillet you should fell bones the next step is to remove these to do this, you should cut a v and you will be able to take out the main bone however some bones may remain so using a filleting tweezers remove the remaining bones. Now you should have two fillets of mackerel for this recipe you will need four fillets so repeat of a second mackerel.

Cumin flatbread:

Pour the flour into a large bowl and make a well in the centre next add the water, yoghurt, yeast and salt. Mix. Once the mix starts to form a ball of dough add the cumin seeds and knead on a floured surface for approximately three minutes once kneaded place in an oiled bowl and leave in a warm place for 50 minutes to prove. Once proved knock out the air and cut into ¼ and, using a rolling pin roll into approximately 20cm ovals and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Once baked place on a cooling rack for service later.

Roasted beetroot:

Firstly, set the oven to 180 degrees’ centigrade then peel and scrub the beetroot then slice them in two. Next, place the beetroot and balsamic vinegar in tin a tray lined with foil then cover them with a further three layers of foil to insure no leakage later. Place the tray of beetroot in oven. Cook for approximately 50 minutes then leave to cool.

Dill oil:

Prepare a saucepan of boiling water then place then dill in the water and leave to blanch for a minute then drain and place in a bowl of iced water immediately. Then place in a blender with the vegetable oil and blend till smooth. Next pour into a muslin cloth and leave to drip collect for dressing the plate later.

Mackerel tartare:

For the tartare fillet the mackerel (as shown above*) then cut into small pieces and put in bowl. Cut the apple, and cucumber brunoises and add to the mackerel before adding the chilli and capers (finely chopped) then combine with the zest and juice off the orange and lemon. Mix.

Pickled shallots:

Peel the shallots and slice them into 1mm thick rings then place in a pickling jar and add the vinegar. Leave for service later.

Horseradish cream:

Mix the buttermilk and the grated horseradish together then add lemon to taste and finish of with salt and pepper also to taste.

Torched mackerel:

Fillet the mackerel (as shown above*) then cut into approximately 4cm wide and 1.5cm thick rectangles then place on a tray lined with tin foil. Next set the blowtorch on a medium heat at firstly focus the flame on the sides then the skin to ensure it is crispy and cooked all the way through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Firstly, place the tartare in a 9 by4cm rectangle but don’t remove the mould till last minute. Place 5 fillets of mackerel around the plate. Wash and drain then also place that on the plate too purslane leaves around the plate delicately. Cut the beetroot into small cubes around 0.5cm by 0.5cm add around ten to the plate. Using a squeezy bottle place dots of horseradish cream around the plate. Drain the shallots and put approx. 10 rings on the plate. To finish of drizzle the dill oil around the plate and serve with cumin flatbread triangles.


For the torched mackerel:
1 whole mackerel

Mackerel tartare:
1 whole mackerel
¼ of a Kentish apple
1/5 of a cucumber
1 tbsp. of capers
the zest and juice of ½ a lemon
the zest and juice of ½ an orange
¼ of a red chilli

Pickled shallots:
2 shallots
150ml of chardonnay vinegar

Roasted beetroot:
2 beetroots
100ml of balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves
pinch of salt
crack of pepper

Dill oil:
30g of fresh dill
40ml of vegetable oil

Horseradish cream:
500ml of buttermilk
1X horseradish
Lemon juice to taste
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper

For the flatbread:
500g of strong white bread flour
15g of yeast
10g of salt
5g of sugar
1tbsp of cumin seeds
100g of yoghurt
200ml of water