According to Jenny Baker in Kettle Broth to Gooseberry Fool: A Celebration of Simple English Cooking (London 1997), this sauce traditionally was favored over gooseberry with mackerel in Bristol. It is equally good.
-about a cup of rhubarb cut into 1-inch segments
-1 teaspoon lemon juice
-about ¼ cup brown sugar
-scant ½ teaspoon mace
Combine everything in a pot, bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and stir occasionally until the rhubarb dissolves to make a lumpy sauce, then process (or just mash) the sauce until smooth.
Even more notes:
- This sauce makes an excellent fool. Let it cool and then stir in some slightly thickened heavy cream.
- Vary the amount of sugar to taste, or substitute white for the brown sugar for a lighter flavor.
- Alan Davidson claims fish sauced with rhubarb for Ireland, but his evidence is anecdotal and contemporary rather than historically sound. Nonetheless his recitation of the Irish Sea Fisheries Board’s recipe is a good one. Like the Norman gooseberry recipe, it uses a breadcrumb and fruit stuffing for the fish. (Atlantic Seafood 473)