Originally rhubarb would be out of season until spring although we can now enjoy a ‘forced’ variety that is grown in dark conditions producing a tender and less robust crop. Not only does forcing rhubarb provide us with one of the great ingredients of winter warming recipes, but it also provides a much more vibrant, tender and less sour plant. It will need a lot less cooking and sweetening than its hardier outdoor version too.
Charred Rhubarb with Mackerel
Cut 800g of rhubarb into 5cm long chunks. In a medium pan bring 500ml chicken stock, 1 bay leaf and 6 pink peppercorns to a simmer and poach the rhubarb for 5 minutes. Remove from the liquid and allow to cool. Reduce the poaching liquid by two thirds till it starts to thicken slightly. Heat a char grill pan and char grill the rhubarb till the bar marks are visible. Pan fry some mackerel fillets and arrange on top of the charred rhubarb and serve with the reduced poaching liquid.