Try the simple, ancient art of pickling

Seasonal suppers: Between now and the end of autumn, preserve a few items of nature’s bounty

Minted mackerel and mushroom escabeche. Photograph:  Getty Images

Minted mackerel and mushroom escabeche. Photograph: Getty Images

 

In a world of freezers and tinned goods, it’s hard to remember that at one point if you wanted something out of season, you would have to make it yourself. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Preservation now opens itself to a world of different flavours and textures.

Everyone should know how to pickle. It doesn’t matter if you can pick up a courgette or a cucumber in December, it’s nice to be able to open your fridge and encounter your own pickles. As we return to the season of plenty, we should remember the season scarcity. Between now and the end of autumn, I would encourage you to pickle or preserve a few items of nature’s bounty. Even if you pod your own peas and freeze them – it all counts!

Pickling fish

Pickling fish is an ancient practice and something we have done in Ireland for centuries. This practice was likely introduced by the viking settlers and then migranted into the medieval monasteries. Salted ling and herring are staples of many European coastal communities. In Spain the practice of pickling fish is called escabeche (though it’s not confined to fish). Fish is fried and then submerged in a vinegar and wine solution. The fish should keep for at least two weeks, if not longer, depending on the acidity of the solution. Though it’s also beautiful freshly made. 

To make your own mackerel escabeche, fry some sliced red onion in a little oil. Add a nice julienne of carrots (matchsticks) and sweat for a few minutes. Pour in 500ml white wine, 500ml white wine vinegar and 500ml water. Add a pinch of saffron and salt, and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Pan fry four to six fillets of mackerel on their skin side until the skin is crispy. Lay the fillets in a tray and pour over the pickling liquid. Before serving, add in some chopped parsley. Enjoy.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.