2½ cups self-raising flour
2½ cups cornflour
a splash of oil
a pinch of salt
990ml (3 x 330ml cans) cold lager beer
2-3 litres of oil or beef dripping, for frying
4 pieces of white fish (I used warehou)
1kg Agria potatoes
2-3 litres vegetable oil or beef dripping

A good batter should be light and crisp so this means getting air into it. You can do this with a raising agent such as yeast, baking powder or self-raising flour. You also need a good-quality lager for its slightly citric flavours though you can also use sparkling water. The consistency of the batter should be that of pouring cream so it sticks to the fish and will soufflé around it, keeping the batter light and crisp, almost steaming the fish within it. The batter must rest for about an hour in the fridge before using it, though not too long or it will lose its effervescence and ability to bubble up around the fish. The cold is necessary so that when the batter hits the hot oil, the reaction happens. Finally, what sort of oil? I use vegetable oil but for a glorious, superior result you really cannot go past beef dripping. Either way, have the temperature set at 185 ̊C. Happiness awaits…


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2.Sieve the flour and cornflour into a large mixing bowl.
3.Add the oil and salt then quickly whisk in the beer.
4.Don’t worry if you have a few small lumps of flour in the batter.
5.Put in the fridge for 1 hour to rest.
6.Heat the fat or oil to 185 ̊C in a bench-top deep fryer or a deep pot.
7.Have a plate lined with absorbent kitchen paper ready by the fryer.
8.Dip the fish into the batter and then carefully lower the fish into the fryer and gently shake the frying basket to prevent the fish from sticking to it.
9.Don’t overcrowd the fryer, so do only a few pieces of fish at a time.
10.Cook the fish for 4-6 minutes, until the batter is crisp and golden.
11.Lift out of the fryer and drain on the kitchen paper.
12.Sprinkle with some flakes of sea salt and serve.
14.Wash and peel the potatoes then cut them into chips about 1½cm thick.
15.Place them in a bowl under cold running water for 2-3 minutes, stirring the potatoes around to remove some of the starch.
16.Drain the potatoes and place in a tea towel, loosely drying them off.
17.Heat the oil to 130 ̊C.
18.Put the chips into the frying basket – do this in batches – and cook the chips until they take on a small amount of colour and appear to be ‘dry’, about 3-4 minutes.
19.Remove the chips from the fryer, drain and place on a cake rack to cool down.
20.Increase the temperature of the oil to 185 ̊C.
21.Put the chips back into the fryer – again, do this in batches – and cook until golden brown, 3-4 minutes.
22.Drain and season well with salt, and serve.

Food and recipe styling Martin Bosley / Photography Amber-Jayne Bain