Fish and thick-cut chips with tartare sauce and mushy peas

Tom Aikens from Toms Place shows you how to cook the quintessential fish and chips with traditional accompaniments
By Tom Aikens
Fish and thick-cut chips with tartare sauce and mushy peas
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus chilling
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

Main

  • 4 100g MSC-certified cod, fillets
  • 50 g flour

For the tartare sauce

  • 2 tsp English mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 pinches freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 750 ml vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1½ tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 75 g chopped gherkins
  • 75 g chopped capers
  • 10 g chopped parsley
  • 75 g chopped shallots

For the mushy peas

  • 1 kg frozen peas
  • 40 g butter
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 10 g fresh mint

For the batter

  • 400 g high-gluten strong bread flour
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground white pepper
  • 250 ml Heineken beer
  • 250 ml sparkling water

For the thick-cut chips

  • 4 large maris piper potatoes, peeled
  • vegetable oil, for deep frying

Tips and Suggestions

You will only have problems with deep-frying if the oil is not hot enough as the chips will not colour properly or go crispy. Indeed, they may become soggy. By blanching the chips in water, they take on some of the water which not only helps the fluffiness of the potato, but also helps the chip to be crisp rather than soggy. Double frying also increases the crispiness.

Method

1. For the tartare sauce: whisk the mustard, salt, pepper and egg yolks together in a bowl. Slowly pour the oil into the yolk mixture, whisking continuously, until the mixture forms a mayonnaise. If the mixture gets too thick or splits, add the water and keep mixing.

2. Once all the oil has been added, stir in the rest of the ingredients. Cover the bowl and set aside until needed.

3. For the mushy peas: Add the peas to a saucepan of boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain, reserving 200ml of the cooking liquid.

4. Put the peas into a blender with the butter, salt, mint and cooking liquid and pulse for a few seconds at a time until mashed but not completely liquidised. There should still be recognisable chunks of pea in the mixture. Keep warm until ready to serve (or chill and reheat at serving time).

5. For the batter: combine the flour, salt and pepper in a bowl. Make a well in the flour, pour in the beer and water and whisk to a batter. (Note that it needs to be whisked very well in order to avoid any lumps.) Cover and put in the fridge to rest for 10-20 minutes.

6. For the thick-cut chips: cut the potatoes along their length into 1cm-square batons, so they are all the same size. Wash the starch off the chips under cold running water.

7. Put the chips into a large saucepan of lightly salted water. Bring to a rapid boil, then drain and refresh them immediately in chilled water to stop them cooking any further. Dry them thoroughly on kitchen paper.

8. Heat the vegetable oil to 140C in a deep-fryer or deep saucepan, plunge the chips into the oil for 2-3 minutes to blanch, then drain on kitchen paper.

9. Reheat the oil to 180C. Plunge the chips back into the oil and cook for 4-5 minutes until they are golden brown. Drain and season with sea salt.

10. Reheat the oil to 180C. Dip the cod fillets into the flour, then into the batter and fry for 3-4 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Serve the fish with the chips, mushy peas and tartare sauce.

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