Just before Christmas our neighbours, the sheep overseer here on the farm and his wife, packed up and moved further north to a new home and job. Packing up and moving always involves emptying the freezer, or trying to anyway. Bruce and Kerry had bags and bags of local Coorong mullet fish in their freezer, which we inherited and is now taking up prime real estate in our freezer! Time to use it up, I thought.
Last year I came across this recipe for apparently ‘the perfect’ beer batter. I have done beer battered fish a lot before, using various methods and recipes, but this one had me intrigued with it’s special secret ingredient. I’ll let the recipe itself do the talking…
Best Beer Battered Fish with Chunky Wedges
Fresh fish fillets of your choosing (I used Coorung mullet because it’s what we had, and it was delicious)
180ml of beer, give the rest of the can to husband to drink as he supervises proceedings
1/2 cup self raising flour
1/4 cup cornflour
1/4 cup custard powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate soda
Pinch of salt
3-4 large washed potatoes (I used Cream Delights, my father would be horrified I’m using washed potatoes, but pleased they are the Delights brand, which he grows)
Good quality sea salt or Celtic salt (Amy got me onto this stuff and it is the business!)
Generous amount of good quality olive oil and rosemary sprigs
Vegetable oil for frying
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celcius. Cut your potatoes into long thick wedges, toss them about it your olive oil, rosemary and sea salt. Lay them on a baking tray and put into hot oven for an hour, turning halfway through.
Meanwhile, mix together in a bowl the self raising flour, cornflour, custard powder, bicarb and pinch of salt. Make a well in the centre and pour in your beer gradually, whisk this as you’re pouring, bringing it all together so it’s smooth and delicious looking.
Heat some vegetable oil in a fry pan until it’s fairly hot, not too much oil but enough. You know what I mean. Dip your fish fillets through the beer batter, let the batter run off them, I don’t like much batter at all on my fish. Then pop straight into the hot oil. Be careful with hot oil! Especially with kids in the kitchen, or in my case an inquisitive little spaniel.
Flip the fish and remove from pan when batter goes golden and lovely looking. Serve with your chunky wedges, a wedge of lemon and good tartare sauce.
This was a super simple but delicious Sunday night meal for us. I’d throw in a garden salad too for some greens, especially with some of the homegrown tomatoes we’ve been enjoying lately. So, custard powder! Who knew?! It really is the best beer batter I’ve come across, I halved the quantities from the original recipe (and added more beer as the batter was a bit thick). I’ll be keeping this in my recipe collection to use time and again – I love finding a keeper! I’ll admit I didn’t make the tartare, but homemade is always really delicious, especially using yummy gherkins.
Tell me, what summer meals have you been enjoying lately?