Beer-battered fish and triple-cooked chips

Beer-battered fish and triple-cooked chips
  • Serves icon Serves 4
  • Time icon Hands-on time 45min, frying time 1 hour, plus chilling and resting

Debbie Major’s ultimate British seaside treat is bought to the table with her brilliant fish and chips recipe served with mushy peas and tartare sauce.

Per serving fish, chips and peas

946kcals, 26.8g fat (5.8g saturated), 54.8g protein, 119.5g (6.9g sugars), 2.3g salt, 15.8g fibre

Per tablespoon of tartare

67kcals, 7.3g fat (1.1g saturated), 0.2g protein, 0.3g carbs (0.2g sugars), 2.3g salt, 0.1g fibre

Ingredients

  • 425ml ale, such as Adnams Southwold bitter
  • ½ tsp caster sugar
  • 1½ tsp dried active yeast
  • 250g plain flour, plus extra to dust
  • 100g rice flour (from the baking section of large supermarkets)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 8 x 100g skinless large sustainable flat fish fillets (see Debbie’s tip) or 4 x 200g skinless sustainable haddock fillets

For the chips

  • 1.5kg floury potatoes, such as king edward
  • Sunflower oil for deep-frying

For the tartare sauce

  • 150ml good quality mayonnaise
  • 1½ tsp English mustard
  • 1 tbsp each finely chopped gherkins, green olives and capers
  • 1 tbsp each snipped fresh chives and chopped fresh parsley
  • Squeeze lemon juice

For the mushy peas

  • 3 x 300g tins marrowfat peas, drained, liquid reserved
  • 25g butter
  • Pinch caster sugar

You’ll also need

  • A digital probe thermometer

Method

  1. Start the chips the night before (or as early as you can in the day). Cut the potatoes into chunky chips and wash in plenty of cold water to remove the starch. Put the chips in a pan of cold, well-salted water (ideally 1 tsp salt per 600ml water). Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 5 minutes or until the chips are tender to the point of a small, sharp knife. Keep an eye on them, though – you don’t want them to fall apart. Carefully lift the chips out of the water with a slotted spoon and lay them on a cooling rack to dry off. Put the rack in the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight if you can.
  2. Half fill a deep, heavy-based pan with sunflower and heat until a digital probe thermometer reads 130°C. Fry the chips in small batches for around 5 minutes or until they have a light crust – you don’t want them to brown yet. Drain on kitchen paper, then chill for at least another hour (or as long as you can leave them) until completely cold.
  3. To make the fish batter, warm 75ml of the beer in a pan, then whisk in the sugar and yeast. Leave somewhere warm for 10 minutes or until frothy on top. Gently warm the rest of the beer in another pan. Sift the flours and salt into a mixing bowl, make a well in the centre, then gradually add the yeasty mixture and the warm beer, whisking to a smooth batter. Cover and set aside for 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, mix together the ingredients for the tartare sauce and chill until needed. Dry the fish on kitchen paper and season with salt.
  5. Put the drained peas in a pan with 3-4 tbsp of the reserved liquid, then simmer for 5 minutes or until hot. Mash to a coarse purée, then stir in the butter, sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  6. Heat the oven to 150ºC/fan130ºC/gas 2. Line 2 baking trays well with kitchen paper. Reheat the chip oil to 160ºC. Dust 1-2 fish fillets with plain flour, then knock off the excess. Holding each fillet by the tail end, dip them into the batter (see Debbie’s intro), making sure they’ve taken on a good coating, then lower slowly into the hot oil. Fry for 6 minutes, turning after 3 minutes, until crisp, golden and cooked. Drain, then put on the lined trays. Keep hot in a warm oven while you cook the rest.
  7. Bring the oil to 180ºC. Carefully lower in the part-cooked chips and fry for 3-4 minutes until golden. Gently reheat the peas, adding more of the reserved liquid if necessary.
  8. Drain the chips on kitchen paper and sprinkle lightly with salt, then serve with the fish, peas and tartare.

delicious. tips

  1. If using flat fish fillets, choose lemon sole, plaice or flounder.

  2. Debbie says: “Whisk the batter before you dip in each batch of fish. This will create bubbles, which will help give a crisp coating. When all the fish is cooked, drizzle the rest of the batter into the hot oil and fry until crisp and golden – these were my favourite bits from the fish and chip shop when I was a child.”

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