Beer-battered fish and chips

The secret to Paul Merretts perfect fish and chips is starting the potatoes two days before you want to eat them
By Paul Merrett
Beer-battered fish and chips
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 1
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus 2 days chilling
  • Effort: easy


For the chips

  • 1-2 potatoes, preferably Maris Pipers
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying

For the mushy peas

  • about 70 g frozen peas, defrosted
  • chicken stock, to cover
  • 1 tbsp chopped chervil
  • 1 tbsp chopped tarragon
  • 30 g butter

For the fish

  • 60 g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 200 ml lager
  • 150 g haddock fillets, skin removed

To serve

  • chip-shop wallies or pickled cucumbers


1. For the chips: peel the potatoes and cut them into chips. Cook in a pan of barely simmering water for 6-8 minutes, until fully cooked. Drain well. Spread them out on kitchen paper to air-fry and cool, then place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

2. Next day, heat some vegetable oil to 125C in a deep-fryer. Add the chips and cook for 3-4 minutes or until they are slightly blistered. Drain and cool, then return the chips to the refrigerator for another 24 hours.

3. For the mushy peas: in a microwave or small saucepan, heat enough chicken stock to cover the peas. Put the defrosted peas in a saucepan, add the hot stock, herbs and butter and bring to the boil. Remove the mixture from the heat and blend coarsely with a stick blender. Keep warm until ready to serve.

4. For the fish: put the flour in a mixing bowl and whisk in the beer to form a batter with the consistency of double cream. Dust the fish with the extra flour then dip it in the batter until well coated.

5. Heat the oil in the deep-fryer to 180C and fry the battered fish until golden and crispy this should take 7-10 minutes, depending on its shape. Drain on kitchen paper.

6. Finish cooking the chips by frying them in the hot oil for about 3 minutes. Drain on kitchen paper before serving with the fish, mushy peas and pickled cucumber.

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