Smoked mackerel and horseradish pâté recipe

By Tom Norrington-Davies

  1. Serves 4 as a starter
  2. Takes 15 minutes to make, plus setting
  3. Rating

You can substitute other hot-smoked fish in this recipe; my favourite variations are made using hot-smoked kippers or trout. The horseradish is optional; leave it out if you’re not a fan, or serve on the side mixed with lemon juice, as a condiment.

tried and tested
Smoked mackerel and horseradish pâté


  1. 200g (1 whole or 2 fillets) hot-smoked mackerel
  2. 2.5-5cm piece horseradish root
  3. or 1-2 tbsp creamed horseradish
  4. 50g unsalted butter, softened
  5. 100g crème fraîche or soured cream
  6. Juice of 1 lemon
  7. French bread slices, toasted (optional), to serve
  8. ½ cucumber, sliced, to garnish (optional)


  1. 1. Peel and flake the mackerel, being careful to remove any bones if you are using the whole fish. Peel and finely grate the horseradish. If you are new to this job, do it by an open window. It’s strong stuff.
  2. 2. The best tool for this pâté is a food processor but you could also mash it with a fork. Blitz or mash the fish, horseradish, butter, crème fraîche and lemon juice to a rough paste.
  3. 3. Allow the mix to cool and ‘set’ in the fridge for an hour or so before serving on buttered toast or bread.
  4. 4. The best garnish for this pâté is cucumber, without doubt – I’ve used fresh, but you could also try pickled cucumber.

Nutritional info

Per serving: 587kcals, 37.7g fat (17g saturated), 17.7g protein, 47.1g carbs, 4.1g sugar, 2.3g salt

Wine Recommendation

Portuguese Vinho Verde is surprisingly good with this – but make sure you pick a dry, modern style and chill it well.


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