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Mackerines...or sarderels

For years I lived aboard an 1896 12 ton gaff cutter - which I had largely rebuilt remasted and resparred with a 20ft gaff, 24 ft boom, fidded topmast, ratlines, running bowsprit and a coal-fired range in the cabin. I sold the engine, used the space for a coal hole and sailed her when there was any wind at all and used a sweep and the tide when not.

A pal had a small boeir yacht - as curvaceous and full fore and aft as a traditionally built Dutch matron - and this recipe came from him. Where he got it from I know not. This was before I was a vegetarian and a whiffing line with a dozen feathers kept me in mackerel, pollack and the occasional garfish.

Allow one fresh mackerel per person. Gut, clean and remove the heads.

Place on trivet in pressure cooker, add sea-water (fresh water with salt added if doing it at home) and a teaspoon or two of vinegar, preferably cider vinegar. The surface of the trivet and the fish must be clear of the water unless you want fish soup.

Set the weight on the safety valve to give the highest pressure. Put on stove and when you have a head of steam reduce heat to keep it gently steaming as per pressure cooker instructions.

Cook for twenty minutes. Yes, TWENTY minutes. Ignore the recommended time given for fish.

After the full twenty minutes remove from heat and leave to cool slowly. When the pressure cooker is no longer warm to touch and the pressure has equalised remove the fish.

If eaten cold the mackerel will be reminiscent of sardines, but much larger. The long cooking and the vinegar makes the bones soft like sardine bones so there is no need to remove them - eat the lot. Cooked this way they are deliciously oily and very filling.
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ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
Just north of Munich
I'm not sure what sounds more interesting - living on a boat, or the recipe... I think the boat. At one stage I had the idea of doing something like that, putting a small 4x4 on deck for excursions in harbours. But (sadly?) sanity won through. I reckoned by the time I had the money and had done the work to get the thing seaworthy, I'd be ready for the next trip in a wooden box.

Must try that recipe, though. Guess my wife and kids will object. >:)

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