My first week in Ireland was absolutely brilliant! I’ve met some great people, discovered some great food places already and learned a lot about the local products. So in honor of my new home, I decided to share a typical Irish meal: Guinness – beer battered fish with homemade tartar sauce, potato wedges and coleslaw!
The first time I ever ate battered fish was in Galway (Ireland) and I loved it so much! The one I had, didn’t have any Guinness in it but since I’m going for an Irish dish, I decided to use Guinness for the batter. For this recipe I went for potato wedges, but you can easily replace this by some traditional chips if you want to go for some real fish & chips. I just wanted to avoid having 2 fried ingredients on my plate, but it’s up to your own preference obviously.
Now, I’m not going to lie, I struggled a good bit to create this recipe as I had never tried to make battered fish before and had absolutely no clue how to make it at all. So I ended up trying two techniques, the first one using a deep fryer, the other using a high frying pan. Although it was easier to put the fish in the pan, I wasn’t too sold on the flavor of the batter so I gave the deep fryer a go. The batter was absolutely beautiful: crispy, light and just so tasty! And thanks to some tips from Jamie Oliver and Donal Skehan, I finally mastered the technique to deep fry battered fish without having your batter sticking to your frying basket or hot oil splashing all over you.
Serves: 4 people
- 4 skinless and boneless fish fillets: cod, hake, haddock,.. (about 250g)
- 60g self raising flour + a couple of extra tablespoons
- 125ml Guinness
- 1 small lemon
- 250g coleslaw
- 600g baking potatoes to make them from scratch or pre-boiled potato wedges
- 2 tablespoons of fresh flat-leaf parsley (around 6 twigs, or 1 handful)
- 225g good quality or homemade light mayonnaise
- 1 shallot
- 10 capers
- 2 teaspoons of chopped gherkins/pickles
- 1 teaspoon of teragon
- 1/2 tablespoon of chopped fresh chives
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
- pepper and salt
Let’s start with the homemade tartar sauce! All you have to do is slice the shallots up in 4 pieces and put it in a food processor together with the fresh flat – leaf parsley, mayo, capers, gherkins/pickles, tarragon, lemon juice and fresh chives. Mix away until you have a smooth tartar sauce.
If you bought some potato wedges ready to be cooked, you can skip this step. If you bought potatoes to make the wedges yourself: keep reading! Clean the potatoes and cut them in wedges (don’t peel them) and put the wedges in boiling water for about 8 minutes. Drain in a colander and let them steam dry for a couple of minutes, while you prepare the rest.
Next up is the beer batter for our fish. Take a bowl and add the turmeric and flour; make a little hole in the middle and pour in the Guinness slowly. Mix the beer with the flour as your keeping pouring in the Guinness and do so until you have one smooth batter. Don’t make this batter too soon but simply make sure it’s ready just before you start frying the fish and potato wedges.
Heat up a deep fryer at 190° and add some olive oil to a frying pan for the potato wedges and start frying them as soon as the oil is warm.
You can either leave the fish as it is, or cut them up into goujon sized pieces. Which ever you choose, simply coat the fish in some of the extra flour, shake off the excess and set them aside. Dip them in the batter one by one and let the excess drip off before you add it to the deep fryer. The next bit is very crucial if you want to make sure your batter doesn’t end up sticking to your frying basket, which will tear your batter apart. All you have to do to prevent this, is hold your fish on one end and lower them into the oil carefully and slowly and continue the same way for the other pieces. By doing so, your batter will start to get crispy by the time it actually touches the basket, so it won’t be able to stick to it anymore. Don’t overcrowd your frying basket by the way. Cook for about 4 minutes, until the batter is golden and crisp.
Season with a generous sprinkle of sea salt and serve with some cole slaw, tartar sauce and potato wedges. Slice up the small lemon in wedges and serve it along with the fish.