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Beer-Battered Fish with Triple-Cooked Chips & Mushy Minty Peas

This weekend, try your hand at Ainsley Harriott's beer-battered fish with triple-cooked chips & mushy minty peas. The crisp batter, flaky soft fish and golden chips might just be enough to replace a trip to your local chippy.

Introduction

Fish and chips is one of life’s greatest pleasures! This is a British classic with a beer batter that’s crispy and tasty and keeps the fish moist on the inside. If you prefer, pop the chips in the oven to bake at 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7 for 18–20 minutes after boiling, but they won’t be quite as crispy as the triple-cooked.

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Ingredients

1.5kg Maris Piper or Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunky chips
4 x 175g skinless and boneless white fish fillets (pollock, haddock, cod), from a sustainable source
½ lemon, for squeezing
250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp sea salt
2 tsp baking powder
A good pinch of cayenne
300–330ml cold beer
sunflower or vegetable oil, for deep-frying
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the mushy minty peas
400g peas (defrosted if frozen)
40g butter
6–8 mint leaves, chopped
½ medium-hot fresh chilli, de-seeded and chopped
lemon wedges or vinegar your sauce of choice for dipping, to serve

Essential kit

You will need: a deep-fryer or deep heavy-based saucepan.

Method

Rinse the chips under cold running water then place in a large pan of salted cold water and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Cook for 4–6 minutes or until just tender, then drain well and set aside.

Pat the fish dry, squeeze over a little lemon juice and lightly season with salt and pepper. Lightly dust the fillets with flour.

Sift the flour, salt, baking powder and cayenne into a large bowl. Stirring continuously with a whisk, gradually add enough beer to make a thick, shiny batter (you may not need all the beer).

In a small saucepan over a medium heat, bring just enough water to cover the peas to the boil. Add the peas and cook for 2–3 minutes until tender. Drain, reserving a little of the cooking water, and place the peas in a food processor. Add the butter, a tablespoon of the reserved cooking water, the mint and chilli and pulse until you reach the desired consistency, adding a little more cooking liquid if needed. Season to taste and keep warm.

Heat enough oil for deep-frying in a deep-fryer or deep heavy-based saucepan, making sure it comes no more than two-thirds of the way up the saucepan, to 180°C. If you don’t have a thermometer, test with a drop of batter: it should sizzle and crisp immediately.

Pat the chips dry with a clean tea towel or kitchen paper and gently add to the hot oil. Fry for 3–5 minutes until just starting to colour. Remove and drain well on kitchen paper.

Dip the floured fish in the batter, making sure it is well covered. Carefully lower the fish 1 or 2 at a time into the hot oil and cook for 6–8 minutes, depending on thickness, until crisp and golden.
Remove, drain on kitchen paper, season with salt and keep warm.

Return the chips to the hot oil and fry for 3 minutes or until crisp and golden. Drain well on kitchen paper and season with salt.

Serve the fish hot with the chips and mushy minty peas, with lemon wedges or vinegar and your favourite sauce for dipping.

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