Monday, 18 February 2013

Beer Battered Haddock and Chips

Crispy beer battered haddock is served with real homemade chips and a lemon wedge

Fish and chips is traditionally the UK's favourite fast food. Unfortunately, it is also one of those meals where the difference between delicious perfection and outright disaster can be represented by a very fine line. There are few who like the dish to consist of limp, soggy chips and greasy, soggy batter on the fish. The good news is that there are two main reasons why the sogginess occurs, both relating to the temperature of the oil and easily avoided. Either the oil is not hot enough before the chips and/or fish is added, or alternatively, too much food is added to the oil at the same time. This latter scenario will see the cold food significantly reducing the temperature of the oil, however hot it was in the first instance. This is a major problem in thousands of fish and chip shops (but by no means all!) UK wide and that is partly why the fish and chips were in this instance cooked in two different pans.

A large haddock fillet is halved lengthways for battering and deep frying

Ingredients per Person

1 or 2 large floury/starchy potatoes
Large skinless fillet of haddock
3 tbsp plain/all purpose flour
Small bottle of lager type beer
Lemon wedge to garnish
Condiment/sauce accompaniments of choice

Basic beer batter ingredients


I've featured my chosen chip preparation method on this blog many times before, so won't go in to that again. Do note though that if using that method, the chips will have to be started well in advance.

Prepared beer batter

In this instance, the fish is going to be fried in a deep frying pan of very hot vegetable oil. This allows you to monitor the fish better as it fries and means the chips can be prepared separately in your deep fryer.

Put the flour in to a suitable dish. This dish designed for storing bacon in the fridge is ideal. Slowly begin adding some of the ice cold beer, whisking with a fork as you pour until you have a batter the consistency of thick cream. Dip the haddock fillets in to the batter, hold them up for a couple of seconds to let the excess drip off and lower them carefully in to the hot oil.

Beer battered haddock is fried in a deep frying pan

Turn the fillets carefully after two minutes and fry for two minutes more.

Beer battered haddock is drained on kitchen paper after being deep fried

Lift the haddock from the hot oil with a large slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

Real homemade chips

Lay the chips on a serving plate, the haddock fillets on top and garnish with a lemon wedge.

Beer battered haddock is laid on homemade chips

Salt and malt vinegar are essential condiments but tomato ketchup or HP Sauce also go well with this meal.

Condiments commonly added to haddock and chips