English Fish + Chips

Hardware

  • Dutch oven or dedicated deep fryer
  • Baking sheets
  • Cooling racks (ones that fit the sheets, preferably)
  • Some mixing bowls
  • Wisk (I prefer a roux-wisk, aka “flat-wisk”)
  • Peeler
  • A sharp knife 🙂

Ingredients: Both

  • About a gallon of Oil/Fat for deep frying (Rendered beef fat is traditional, but vegetable/peanut oil will work fine)
    • If you don’t mind spending the money, Refined Safflower oil has a very high smoke-point and holds up well to multiple fries.

Ingredients: Fish

  • (4)175g (6oz) thick cod or haddock fillets
  • 225g (8oz) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 300ml (10oz) English or Irish Beer (something you like to drink)

Ingredients: Chips

  • 6-8 large starchy potatoes (Russet/Idaho)

Directions: Chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F
  2. In a heavy dutch oven or Deep Fryer heat the oil to 120C/250F
  3. Peel the potatoes and cut into thick sticks/wedges.
  4. Wash well in cold water, drain and pat dry with a towel.
  5. Put the potatoes into the fryer and allow them to fry gently for about 8-10 minutes, until they are soft and still pale.
  6. Check they’re cooked by piercing with a fork or skewer.
  7. Lift out of the fryer and leave to cool on baking sheet with towels or cookie cooling rack.

Directions: Fish

  1. Increase the heat of the fryer to 180C (350F)
  2. Pat the fish dry and season with pepper
  3. Dredge in flour and shake off excess
  4. For the batter, sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a large bowl and whisk in the beef to give a thick, gravy-like batter (coat the back of a chef-spoon).
    • Add a little extra beer if it seems too thick.
  5. Season with salt and thickly coat 2 of the fillets with the batter.
  6. Carefully slip each into the fryer and cook for 8-10 minutes until golden and crispy.
  7. Remove from the pan, drain and sit on a baking sheet lined with towels or a cookie cooling rack, and  keep warm in the oven.
  8. Repeat for the remaining fillets

The key to frying is this: Never overload the fryer, and always allow the oil to come back up to temp before you do the next batch.

Love, Jimi

Back to the Chips

  1. Return the chips to the fryer and cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden and crisp.
  2. Shake off any excess oil and season with salt.

Service

  • Side by side with some Malt Vinegar (don’t even think about ketchup)
  • And of course, beer
  • And maybe some horseradish…
  • And mushy peas?

Notes

  • Make sure fish is in good condition (fillets should be firm and smell like the ocean, not fishy)
  • It is very important to allow the oil to come back up to temp before doing each “fry”, this is the difference between crunchy and greasy.
  • It’s a good idea to keep steel mesh “cooling racks” on hand, we actually use them more for fried foods and other prep (like eggplant) than we do for cookies).Twice-fried chips are the standard way to cook french-fries, wedges, steak-fries, etc.: low, then high.
  • Beer: I prefer Guiness or Bass

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