Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Mackerel pasty with watercress

Prep time 30 mins to 1 hour
Cook time 30 mins to 1 hour
Serves 4
From Saturday Kitchen Best Bites
These delicious mackerel pasties served with a fresh cucumber salad are perfect for summery lunch.


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

  2. Season the mackerel with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  3. Mix the sausagemeat, tarragon and half of the parsley together in a bowl.

  4. Spread the mixture over the cut side of the mackerel, then fold each mackerel in half along the spine. Chill in the fridge.

  5. Meanwhile, cut the puff pastry into four pieces and roll each piece out to a 5mm/¼in thickness.

  6. Wrap each fish in a piece of pastry, leaving the mackerel tail poking out, trim any excess and crimp the edge like a pasty.

  7. Brush the top of the pasties with the beaten egg and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked through and golden-brown.

  8. Mix the cucumber, sugar, vinegar and salt together in a bowl and set aside for five minutes, stir in the remaining parsley.

  9. To serve, toss the watercress with the olive oil and squeeze of lemon juice. Serve the pasties with the watercress and cucumber salad alongside.


  • 4 medium mackerel, butterflied, pin bones removed
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 good-quality pork sausages, filling squeezed out, skins discarded
  • 1 bunch fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped
  • 500g/1lb 2oz all-butter puff pastry
  • 2 free-range egg yolks, beaten
  • ½ cucumber, peeled, halved lengthways, seeds scooped out, sliced
  • pinch sugar
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 bunches watercress
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • squeeze lemon juice

Shopping List

Mackerel pasty with watercress

Fruit and vegetables

Cooking ingredients

Dairy, eggs and chilled

Meat, fish and poultry

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