MACKEREL BROILED WHOLE
(Modern Cookery, 1845)
An excellent Receipt
Empty and cleanse perfectly a fine and very fresh mackerel, but without opening it more than is needful; dry it well, either in a cloth or by hanging it in a cool air until it is stiff; make with a sharp knife a deep incision the whole length of the fish on either side of the back bone, and about half an inch from it, and with a feather put in a little cayenne and fine salt, mixed with a few drops of good salad oil or clarified butter.
Lay the mackerel over a moderate fire upon a well-heated gridiron which has been rubbed with suet; loosen it gently should it stick, which it will do unless often moved; and when it is equally done on both sides, turn the back to the fire.
About half an hour will broil it well. If a sheet of thickly-buttered writing-paper be folded round it, and just twisted at the ends before it is laid on the gridiron, it will be finer eating than if exposed to the fire; but sometimes when this is done, the skin will adhere to the paper, and be drawn off with it, which injures its appearance.
A cold Maitre d'Hotel sauce may be put into the back before it is sent to table. This is one of the very best modes of dressing a mackerel, which in flavour is quite a different fish when thus prepared to one which is simply boiled. A drop of oil is sometimes passed over the skin to prevent its sticking to the iron. It may be laid to the fire after having been merely cut as we have directed, when it is preferred so.
30 minutes; 25 if small.