4 small to medium mackerel, gutted
Freshly ground black pepper
Oil for frying
for the sauce
8 oz (250 g) gooseberries, plus 12 to garnish, topped and tailed
1 teaspoon honey, or to taste (optional)
1. Wash the mackerel and pat dry with kitchen paper.
2. Cut off the heads if you prefer, or if the fish are too long for your pan.
3. Season the fish inside and out with a sprinkling of pepper.
4. To make the sauce.
5. Cook the gooseberries gently in a little water until they are tender. Reserve 12 of the cooked gooseberries to use as a garnish, then process or blend the remainder to a smooth puree.
6. The quantity will reduce down to 5 fl oz (150 ml).
7. If a sweeter sauce is required, add honey to taste when simmering.
8. Brush the bottom of a heavy frying pan or skillet with oil, then add 1 teaspoon more.
9. Heat, then put in the fish.
10. They will cook very quickly — after 2 minutes use tongs or two spatulas to turn them.
11. You should not need to use more oil unless you have a temperamental pan that sticks.
12. Lift the mackerel out and briefly drain them on crumpled kitchen paper before placing them on warmed plates.
13. Spoon a little gooseberry sauce alongside each fish and garnish with the reserved whole gooseberries.
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