Ultimate Beer Batter Fish and Chips.
It may be a staple and normal recipe, but a good decent fish and chips recipe (at home) can be well and truly worth it. This is a family recipe and feeds 4.
Around 45 minutes. 10 min preparation, balance “cooking”.
Fish; I recommend flathead tails, but any nice white fish will suffice including flake, whiting, etc. You will want about 1kg fish for this.
Homebrew Beer; 1.5L (4 stubbies or 2 longnecks)
300g plain flour
300g self raising flour
4-5 medium potatoes (~500g)
1.5L Cooking oil. Recommend peanut oil, but sunflower or vegetable oil is OK – anything with a high smoke point >200°C.
Deep fryer, microwave oven, conventional oven for “keeping warm”. Turn on oven to 100°C.
1 – Make beer
This may sound a little time consuming and the time for this is not included in the general recipe time. I will discuss how I do this in another recipe in due course. (Just search up beer if you like…)
Having the beer now in hand, open the first beer and pour into a suitable glass. Drink some just to ensure that it is OK – you would not want to have a bad beer going into the batter.
2 – Heat oil
Heat start heating the oil in your fryer – you should try to get this to around 180°C
3 – Cut fish
Prepare your fish into appropriate size portions. This may include longer portions which can be fried when curled, or more bite size portions. Keep in mind the size or your deep fryer. Don’t forget to keep testing the beer.
4 – Prepare potatoes (yes there is an “e” in the plural of potato)
Peel and cut potatoes into “fries” or your favourite potato shape. Feel free to use a fun shaped cookie cutter if you like. Once peeled and cut appropriately, microwave the potatoes for around 5 minutes on high in a 700W Microwave – less for a more powerful microwave. Once finished, let them stand.
5 – Prepare flour, dust fish and make batter
Place all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and whisk thoroughly. Some might consider adding some other flavours at this point – pepper, lemon, lemon-pepper, cayenne, whatever. You may choose to do this, but it will spoil the taste of the beer.
If you intend to add other flavourings, you may consider using soda water instead of good homebrew beer. Again, remind yourself how good the homebrew beer is.
Now you have the flour whisked, take your fish and flour it lightly and set it aside. This helps the batter stick to the fish. I have found this to be a HUGELY important step don’t forget it.
Now, open the second beer or the second half of the long neck beer and add it as liquid to the flour. You will find that you need around 500mL.
This amount is very important, as you will find that in order to get 500mL, you will have to open the second longneck or the 3rd stubby at this point. Most unfortunate.
Ensure that the batter is thick enough to stick in good quantity to the fish. You can experiment here, but just don’t go too thin.
6 – Batter & cook fish
You’ve now got good batter and fish portions and hot oil.
You will need around 3 or 4 rounds of cooking most likely in your fryer. Take the first 1/4 of fish and coat with batter liberally before placing carefully into the oil. Be sure you don’t dunk your fingers in, you may wish to use metal tongs to help. Plastic tongs are not so helpful…
If you have a fryer basket in your deep fryer, make sure you jiggle it as you put the fish in lest the fish end up stick to the bottom of the basket. Place enough of the fish as the fryer will comfortably take and let cook for around 5 minutes, jiggling the fish as appropriate.
Drink a little more homebrew as you wait for each batch to cook.
Place each round of cooked fish into a pan in the oven to keep hot. Line the pan with some paper towel also to soak up any excess oil. (Because we are trying to reduce oil consumption with this meal after all…)
When you get to the final round of fish, give the potatoes in the microwave another 30 second burst.
7 – Cook chips / weird potato shapes.
Once the final fish have been placed in the oven, grab the potato in the microwave and put out onto some paper towel briefly to soak up any excess moisture. The potato should be around 75% cooked, and firm but not falling apart.
Cook these in the deep fryer oil until crisp on the outside (around 6-7 minutes).
Allow potato to drain once cooked and then serve with fish to the hungry mob.
You can add salt / lemon / vinegar / vegemite to taste.
Pour yourself that last bit of beer and enjoy.