Elegantly-Formed, Beautifully-Coloured Mackeral

The Kitchen Witch has provided us with another beautiful and simple recipe from Mrs Beeton’s cookbook for this month’s The Cookbook Guru. This time she has cooked mackeral in the style of Mrs Beeton with a Maitre d’Hotel Sauce. Make sure that you check out the wonderful stories that Mrs Beeton shares about this fish.

An Evolving Life

“Mackerel,” writes Isabella Beeton in her 1861 book, Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management, “is not only one of the most elegantly-formed, but one of the most beautifully-coloured fishes…” She goes on to explain the seasonality of mackerel in the British Isles as primarily a spring and summer fish – listing harbors by month when it is available off the coast of England and Scotland.

Seasonal cooking is something that Mrs. Beeton stresses, providing nearly every recipe with a note of when it is available. In fact, she has a section in one of her 1861 introductory chapters, on the duties of the Housekeeper, beginning with the quote below, followed by a month-by-month list.

TO BE ACQUAINTED WITH THE PERIODS when things are in season, is one of the most essential pieces of knowledge which enter into the “Art of Cookery.” We have, therefore, compiled the following list, which…

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