Now I’m not one for beating about the bush. If you want to get a true taste of Britain forget curry; forget roast beef. You need fish and chips. But it’s no walkover. Oh no. It involves hot fat, fish…and chips (or fries if you’re from the provinces – only joking).
- Cod loins (boneless and skinless)
- Big baking potatoes, peeled and ‘chipped’
- Beer (real ale)
- Plain flour
- White vinegar
- Mushy Peas
- Tartare Sauce
- Malt Vinegar
- Ketchup (or Catsup is you’re from the other side of the pond)
To make perfect fish and chips there is one golden, fat laden rule: double fry. You need to fry the chips and battered fish, taken them out of the oil and then re-fry. Its bad but its also good. If you can’t handle it, stay out of the fryer.
First cut up some big chunky chips (these are not fries, they’re chips, no two ways about it).
Now get a big pan and start heating up some vegetable oil. You should really use lard but you need so much its too much hassle really. (PS the oil is ready when a piece of bread goes golden in it in about 20 seconds or so).
Meanwhile (and fairly quickly if that oil is bubbling away) prepare the batter for the fish. Put 2 parts plain flour in a bowl with one part cornflour, a teaspoon of salt and 1/3 litre of good old English Ale, eg:
Mix up with a whisk with some vinegar. Now put the chips in the oil and cook for a couple of minutes. Don’t let them go brown. Take them out and put them in a tray and then put them in a warm oven.
Now dip your fish in the batter and put in the oil, again cooking for a few minutes but not so long that it goes brown:
Put the fish in the oven and then get the chips back out and refry for a minute or two till they are done to your liking. Scoop them out, shove them back in the oven.
Now the critical bit. Get the half fried fish out of the oven, dip in the batter again and fry once more! Once its done you can serve this bodacious concoction up.
But you will need some mushy peas. To make mushy peas you need to get down the local supermarket and buy some – God only knows how they are made!
If you have go this far your creation should look like this:
Serve up with Ketchup, Tartare Sauce and salt and vinegar for the chips. And some wine to wash it all down.