You know, I tried really really hard to resist the urge to join the rest of the food blogging world with posting Irish inspired recipes for Saint Patrick’s Day. Because between you and me, I’m not really into artificial green colored food.
And I’m sure you’ve read many a post with the likes of green desserts, corned beef and cabbage, colcannon, Irish soda bread and more plates of fish and chips than you care to see. Am I right? And how many Guinness cupcakes have you noticed on Pinterest lately? I rest my case.
So, I decided to skip the whole Irish themed blog posts and stick to food that I know and love. But then something crazy happened. Something totally absurd. Wild cod went on sale locally for $3.99 a pound. Now how am I supposed to walk away from that? The store practically wrote the post for me. Fish and chips it is. I am weak.
Now, the problem with this is that my recipe only calls for one full bottle and a little of another. That means leftover beer which of course means that I have to bake a chocolate cake. What? You can’t follow that reasoning?
You’ll understand better after the next post I put up in the coming days.
Usually beer battered fish is light and golden in color. Guinness beer battered fish is much darker. And boy can you taste the beer! It gives it a rich earthiness and a yeasty smell that will have everyone in your house impatiently asking you when will it be ready.
Time for the batter to develop its rich yeasty flavor. Time to hand cut the chips. And time to properly cut your fillets. Yes, this is a bit of a production, but Saint Patrick’s Day is only once a year. Certainly a little effort is warranted.
Then we dunk the fillets into the bubbly beer batter bath. And after letting the excess batter drip off for a moment, into the fryer it goes. Minutes later, you are rewarded with this….
Swoon. Really, this makes it all worth it. There is something wonderful about fish straight out of the fryer. Especially Guinness Beer Battered Fish straight out of the fryer. The deep brown color. The rich earthy scent it lets off while it’s frying. Incredible. But how does the fish look on the inside?
- 4 Russet potatoes
- oil for frying (I used vegetable oil)
- sea salt or kosher salt
- 2 pounds of fresh cod fillets, no more than 1″ thick (see notes)
- 2 cups of flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 bottle plus ¼ of another bottle of Guinness beer
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- oil for frying (I used vegetable oil)
- Slice the potatoes into even sticks. Mine were about ¼ by ¼ inch thick. Place them in ice water once cut. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Drain and blot off any excess water.
- For frying, I used a countertop fryer, but you can use a Dutch oven or even a large cast iron skillet.
- Heat oil to 375º. Drop in ¼ of the chips into the fryer. Allow to cook for three minutes. After three minutes, pull them out and drain on a paper towel. They will only be par-cooked at this point.
- Cook the rest of the chips in this fashion. Once they are all par-cooked and drained, put them back in the fryer the same way. ¼ of the batch at a time until they are crispy and golden. Scoop out of the oil, drain on paper towels and immediately season them with salt to your liking. It is crucial to salt them while hot out of the fryer.
- Heat oil to 375º. Once again, I used a table top fryer, but you can use whatever you are comfortable with. A Dutch oven or cast iron skillet is fine too.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Add the beer. Whisk until smooth. Allow to sit for at least ten minutes.
- Dredge the fish in the cornstarch. Dip fillets into the batter and allow the excess batter to run off. This step is important because if you don’t let the excess run off, the fillets will be too thick and won’t cook through properly.
- Carefully slip fillets into the hot oil. Allow to cook on one side for three to four minutes. Flip over and allow it to cook on the other side for another three to four minutes.
- Once cooked, place fillets on a paper towel to drain. Serve immediately.