Beer battered fish and chips

To give the batter for his fish a really light and crispy finish, Michael Caines makes it with beer and a little yeast
By Michael Caines
Beer battered fish and chips
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus 1 hour fermenting
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the beer batter

  • 5 g fresh yeast
  • 850 ml Suffolk ale, or similar
  • 500 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 200 g rice flour
  • 25 g salt

For the chips

  • 800 g potatoes, such as King Edward or Maris Piper
  • sunflower or rapeseed oil, or beef dripping for deep frying

For the fish

  • 4 filleted sides dover sole
  • plain flour, for dusting

To serve

  • tartare sauce
  • lemons, halves

Tips and Suggestions

If you dont have a thermometer to check the temperature of the oil for deep frying, check it instead by dropping in a small cube of bread. If it sizzles immediately and starts to quickly brown, the oil is hot enough.

The best kind of fish to fry is anything firm.

You may very well be left over with extra batter at the end of this recipe. It will keep in the fridge

Method

1. For the beer batter: dissolve the yeast in a little of the ale, by stirring together. Tip both the flours into a large bowl, then whisk in the rest of the ale. Mix in the dissolved yeast and the salt, then leave to ferment for 1 hour before using.

2. For the chips: cut the potatoes into very chunky, even-sized chips. Place them in a bowl of cold water until required, to remove excess starch. Drain and dry well.

3. Put oil or beef dripping into a deep fryer or large, deep heavy-based saucepan and heat to 140C. Use a thermometer to check the temperature. Lower the chips into the hot fat in small batches, keeping the temperature at 140C, and blanch them until the chips are soft but not coloured. Remove them and leave on kitchen paper to drain and cool.

4. For the fish: dust the fish fillets in a little plain flour, shaking off any excess, then dip them into the batter, allowing any excess to drip off. Raise the temperature of the oil to 180C, carefully place the fish in the hot fat and fry for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove, drain on kitchen paper and keep warm.

5. Raise the temperature of the fat to 200C, then return the blanched chips to the fryer and fry for several minutes until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper, then serve the fish and chips with tartare sauce and lemon halves.

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