Mackerel Baked in Foil
of the most interesting programmes on the new digital Gaelic television
channel BBC Alba was a weekly visit to different museums such as Fort
William and The Smith in Stirling. The one that really caught my eye
started at sea and featured the Fraserburgh registered Fifie Reaper. The
Reaper was built at Sandhaven near Fraserburgh in 1902 as a 70 foot two-masted
lugger and was first registered at Fraserburgh in the same year (FR958).
In 1916 she had an engine fitted for the first time – a Gardner 75 hp.
She was purchased by the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstuther, Fife,
in 1979 and restored to her original appearance and now proudly occupies
a berth at Anstruther, just in front of the Museum. The museum which is
open all-year round was founded in 1969 and has considerably expanded
over the years. The site has connections to fishing going back over 600
years when the land was owned by the Abbey of Balmerino and rented to
local fishermen. The collection of over 65,000 objects includes historic
boats, such as the Reaper, paintings, fishing gear, costumes,
photographs, domestic items and much more. The museum has been rightly
recognised by the Scottish Government as being of ‘National
Significance’. The Fisheries Museum also includes a ‘Memorial Room’
which tells the ‘real price of fish’ – the lives of the many fishermen
lost around the Scottish coast. Visit
www.scottishmuseum.org for full details including visiting
a fish recipe would be appropriate for a week when we visit the Fisheries
Museum and mackerel fresh from the Forth is just the ticket. Enjoy Mackerel
Baked in Foil but remember that the real price of fish is paid in blood.
Mackerel Baked in Foil
2 whole mackerel; 1 lemon; 4 fresh rosemary sprigs; 2
garlic cloves, sliced; 1 small red onion, thinly sliced; 4 tbsp
cider or apple juice; boiled potatoes; roughly chopped parsley,
to serve; salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 or fan oven 180C/350F/Gas 4 from cold.
Put each fish on a large square of tin foil or baking paper on a baking
sheet. Season the fish inside and out with salt and pepper. Slice the
lemon, then cut each slice in half. Tuck the lemon slices inside each fish
with a couple of rosemary sprigs and a few garlic slices. Scatter over the
onion and pour 2 tbsp of cider or apple juice over each fish. Wrap tin foil
or baking paper loosely around each fish to make a parcel, and bake for 25
minutes. Serve with boiled potatoes sprinkled with parsley.