Mackerel with split peas, Brussels sprouts, mint and bacon

The mackerel has a bad reputation because of the preserved variety available in tins at supermarkets. However the fresh fish is delicious as Sean Gravina shows in this recipe of pan-fried mackerel on a bed of split peas with Brussels sprouts.

Mackerel with split peas, Brussels sprouts, mint and bacon

Serves 2


  • 100g split peas, soaked
  • ½ onion, left in one piece
  • 1 small stick of celery
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • 350-500ml chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 rashers smoked, streaky bacon, cut into lardons
  • 2 slices of sourdough bread, diced
  • Olive oil
  • 4 fresh mackerel fillets, pin boned (sea bass will also do)
  • 6 fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 handfuls pea shoots

Sherry dressing

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar


  1. Drain the soaked peas. Give them a good rinse and add them to a sauce pan together with the onion, celery, bay leaf, thyme and enough chicken stock to cover.
  2. Season with salt and pepper, bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 45-50mins adding more chicken stock if needed.
  3. Cook the bacon in a dry pan on a medium heat and cook to release the fat.
  4. Once the bacon starts getting some colour, add the diced bread and let it fry in the bacon fat until it becomes crunchy.
  5. When ready to serve heat a non-stick pan and add olive oil.
  6. Season the fish on both sides and drizzle a few drops of olive oil on the skin.
  7. Place the fish skin side down and cook for 4 mins. Once the skin crisps, turn off the heat and turn the fish on its flesh for about 20 seconds.
  8. Remove from the pan and place on kitchen towel to absorb excess oil.
  9. Fold the mint into the split peas and place on the serving plate.
  10. Place the fish on top, then a spoonful of the bacon and bread mix.
  11. Whisk the olive oil and sherry vinegar together and drizzle over the fish.

This recipe first appeared on Gourmet Today TV, aired on TVM on 4 December, 2015.