Jamaican Mackerel Rundown

Mackerel Rundown

Rundown is a thick sauce made of coconut milk that is reduced with seasonings until it begins to form a custard. Saltfish/codfish, shad or pickled mackerel is added, hence the name 'mackerel rundown'. The dish is usually accompanied by boiled green bananas.

Rundown(Run Dung) is also called 'Dip and Fall Back', more so in the past than now. The name is said to have been given this term because the dish was served in bowl in the middle of the table. Each person would dip a starchy food in the bowl (usually boiled green banana, yam or breadfruit) then 'fall back' to allow another person to dip.

2 coconuts grated  or 1 400 ml can coconut milk
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 -3 sprigs of thyme
6 cups water
3 stalks scallion, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 lb pickled mackerel
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 green pepper
1 hot pepper, Scotch bonnet, chopped and seeds removed

1. Add the water to the grated coconut and press the liquid through a sieve or muslin bag. Set this coconut milk aside.
2. Soak the mackerel in water for at least 3 hours to remove excess salt, remove as many bones as possible and set this aside also.
3. Boil the coconut milk rapidly in a heavy frying pan until it is reduced to something resembling curdled custard oil.
4. Add the fish, cover, and cook for 10 minutes on a medium heat. Stir in the onion, garlic, peppers, scallion, tomatoes, hot pepper and thyme, lower the hear and simmer for a further ten minutes.

This dish is traditionally served with boiled green bananas and dumplings. Sometimes the green bananas are cooked with it. Serves 4-5