Beer-Battered Fish & Chips

Summer 2009
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food and drink

BY: Tonia Wilson-Vuksanovic

Place unpeeled potatoes in the refrigerator an hour or two prior to peeling and slicing and take them out just before using. This will make for a crispier fry. An important key to good batter is good beer—the tastier the ale the more flavour your fish will have.

1 1⁄2 cups (375 mL) cold beer, preferably ale
2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour Salt and pepper to taste
8 cups (2 L) vegetable oil
3 lbs (1.5 kg) russet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1⁄2 inch (1 cm) fries
1 1⁄2 (750 g) cod, halibut or haddock, skinned and deboned, cut into 8 equal-sized pieces
Lemon wedges to garnish
Malt vinegar
Tartar Sauce (recipe follows)

1. Slowly whisk beer into 1 1⁄2 cups (375 mL) flour until there are no lumps and they are well combined. Place the other 1⁄2 cup (125 mL) flour on a plate and season it with salt and pepper. Allow batter to rest for 1 hour at room temperature.

2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350°F (180°C). With a clean dish towel, pat fries dry of any moisture and add one third of potatoes to the pot, cook for 4 minutes or until they just start to turn golden. With a slotted metal spoon remove fries and place in a large metal or glass baking dish.

3. Fry the rest of fries, in the same way, in2 more batches, making sure to allow the oil to return to 350°F (180°C) before starting the next batch. Place all blanched (par cooked) fries in the baking dish.

4. Preheat oven to 200°F (100°C) and have a paper-towel-lined baking sheet ready for the fries.

5. Increase the heat of the oil to 370°F (188°C). Carefully return all the fries into the pot and continue to cook them for a second time until they are crispy and golden. This may need to be done in 2 batches. Place cooked fries on prepared baking sheet and sprinkle generously with salt. Keep fries warm in preheated oven while cooking the fish.

6. Season fish pieces generously with salt and pepper. Dredge fish in reserved flour, shaking off excess.While holding the tip of the fish with dry tongs or a fork, dip it into beer batter and coat well. Carefully place the fish into the hot oil and cook until golden, about 2 to 3 minutes each side. Fry 4 pieces at a time, bringing the oil back to proper heat before adding the second batch of fish.

7. Sprinkle cooked fish with salt and serve with fries, lemon wedges, malt vinegar and tartar sauce.

Serves 4


Tartar Sauce
These delicious homemade fish and chips are worthy of a tartar sauce made from scratch. It takes only moments to put together
and will last in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks.

1 cup (250 mL) store-bought mayonnaise
2 tsp (10 mL) Dijon mustard
1⁄2 cup (125 mL) dill pickle, finely chopped
2 tsp (10 mL) capers, finely chopped
2 tsp (10 mL) prepared horseradish (not the creamed variety)
1 tsp (5 mL) Worchestershire sauce
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
2 tsp (10 mL) sugar

1.  In a medium bowl stir together mayonnaise, mustard, dill pickle, capers, horseradish, Worchestershire sauce, lemon juice and sugar. Refrigerate until ready to use.