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Jim Hamilton, Head Chef at the Kings Arms Hotel, Abergavenny, shares his delicious recipe for Smoked Mackerel Pate

smoked mackerel pate
Spring is finally well and truly here. This smoked mackerel pate is perfect to enjoy while sitting in the garden with some crusty bread and a nice cold beer or glass of wine. Watercress or mizuna with their peppery tastes are a good choice of greenery to compliment the smokiness of the mackerel.

The melted butter is there to help set the pate if you want to shape it. At the hotel we shape the pate into cylinders and then roll them in a herb and breadcrumb crust. If I make it at home I leave the butter out and spread it straight from the bowl. As a personal preference, I like to go quite heavy on the black pepper. Happy eating!


  • 4 fillets of Black Mountain Smokery mackerel
  • 125g cream cheese
  • 75g crème fraiche
  • 2 dessert spoons horseradish sauce
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 dessert spoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 25g melted butter (optional)


  1. Check the mackerel for bones, and remove any that are found. Remove the skin, it should peel off very easily. Roughly chop 3 of the fillets and place in to a food processor and blitz for 10 seconds.
  2. Now add the cream cheese, crème fraiche, lemon juice and horseradish. Blitz for another 10 seconds.
  3. Tip the contents of the food processor in to a mixing bowl, add the dill, the melted butter if using, and flake the remaining fillet in to the mix, fold through the pate using a spatula or large spoon.
  4. Season to taste.


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