The British have a reputation for some pretty sorry cuisine. That's started to change in recent decades, and London can now claim to be one of the world's great restaurant cities.
Still, though, you'll have to go out of your way to find these places. Day-to-day British pub food is still fairly ho-hum. Let's put it this way: you can find places in England where Heinz 57 passes for hot sauce. The Brits have mastered one thing, however: fish & chips. It became a staple of the Englishman's diet during the colonial era, when cod – so plentiful that explorers said you can walk across the Atlantic on them – were caught off the coast of New England and shipped back to Great Britain.
We wanted to whip up a batch of fish & chips for our tailgates, so we hunted down the best authority we could find. We found it in the British Beer Co.
, a chain of pubs centered around – appropriately enough for our purposes – Cape Cod. They were kind enough to share their recipe with us.
The British Beer Co. also happen to do a lot of business with one of our all-time favorite breweries: Fuller's of London
. Fuller's London Pride is one of the best beers in the world and it helps make for some mighty fine British-style fish & chips. You don't see fish & chips at too many tailgates, but it's very easy to do and the folks tailgating around you are typically impressed by your initiative.
This makes an individual serving of fish & chips. Just multiply the portions accordingly to feed your crew. However, the basic recipe offers enough oil to whip up batches of fish & chips all day long.
- 2 8-ounce haddock or cod filets
- 1/2 cup fresh julienned potato (or make our gameday French fries)
- ¾ cup Fuller's London Pride
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cornmeal
- 6 cups canola oil
Heat the oil in a heavy duty fry pan or Dutch oven to 350 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients in a big bowl or disposable aluminum pan then add beer to desired thickness, creating something similar to pancake batter. Cook potato in oil for about 3 to 4 minutes then drain them on paper towels. Dredge fish in batter and cook in oil until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees (about 6 to 8 minutes).
Place the fries on plate, top with the fish and serve with malt vinegar, tartar sauce, lemon and a pint of Fuller's London Pride or beer of your choice.