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Mackerel in Madeiran Special Sauce with Cooked Maize (Mihle)

Farmersgirl Kitchen
Fresh mackerel fillets simply marinated and cooked, served on soft and delicious maize meal (polenta), we loved this recipe when we visited the island of Madeira so I've recreated the recipe to share with you. 
5 from 1 vote
Course fish, Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4
Calories 1084 kcal


For the Polenta

  • 1.5 litre water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 180 g polenta
  • 100 g grated cheese
  • 20-30 g butter

For the Mackerel

  • 4 mackerel fillets
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 lemon zest and juice
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 50 ml Madeira wine
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper


  • Bring the water to the boil in a large pan, add the salt.
  • Pour the polenta in a stream into the boiling water whisking gently.
  • Keep whisking until the polenta has thickened.
  • Cover the polenta and either keep cooking on the stove at a low heat, or put in the oven at 150C.  Stir well every 10 minutes scraping down the sides.  Cook for about 30 minutes.
  • Stir in the cheese and butter and serve immediately.

For the mackerel

  • Place the mackerel on a flat plate or baking tray and cover with the grated lemon zest, lemon juice and a tsp thyme leaves stripped from the stalks, cover with cling film and leave for at least 20 minutes.
  • Put the Madeira in a small pan on a medium high heat and simmer to reduce the liquid by half. Heat the olive oil in a pan on a medium heat and sauté the onion until soft, add the butter then cook the mackerel fillets for about 3 minutes each side.
  • Serve the mackerel fillets on top of the creamy polenta and season the pan juices to taste and pour over the dish, the pour over the reduced Madeira. 


 I also chopped some courgettes and pan fried them in butter with garlic and cherry tomatoes to serve with the mackerel and polenta.


Calories: 1084kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 100gFat: 53gSaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 253mgSodium: 1324mgPotassium: 1966mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 815IUVitamin C: 17.7mgCalcium: 291mgIron: 5.9mg
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