This is a simple way of preparing mackerel ; in a piquant sauce from Portugal. Xareu Portuguese (ssha-oo port-u-gesh) may be served with boiled rice and a chicory salad.
1 teaspoon butter
6 mackerel, heads and tails | removed and cleaned
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium-sized onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons flour
8 fl. oz. dry white wine
11. oz. water bouquet garni, consisting of
4 parsley sprigs,
1 thyme spray and
1 bay leaf tied- together
2 tablespoons prepared French mustard
Preheat the oven to fairly hot 400 F (Gas Mark 6, 200 C).
Using the teaspoon of butter, grease a large baking dish and set it aside.
Wash the fish under cold running water and pat them dry with kitchen paper towels. Season the fish with the salt and pepper and place them, in one layer, in the prepared baking dish. Set aside while you make the sauce.
In a medium-sized frying-pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until they are soft and translucent but not brown. Remove the pan from the heat and, using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour to make a paste. Gradually add the wine and water, stirring constantly and being careful to avoid lumps. Return the pan to the heat and cook the sauce, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the bouquet garni and mustard, and pour the sauce over the fish.
Place the dish in the oven and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
Remove the dish from the oven. Remove and discard the bouquet garni and serve immediately.