My uncle was once married to an English lady, so I have some English cousins. Their Grandfather, as it turns out, used to sell Fish n' Chips before the war in the 1930's. I once asked him to share his recipe with me but even in his old age he kept the recipe close to his chest. I loved him anyway, he was a right old English gentleman and veteran of the war in North Africa. He passed away 7 years ago but before he did he instructed my aunt to pass on the recipe. So needless to say I was very happy to finally discover what his secret was all these years ago.
1930's Fish and Chips
1.5-2lbs firm white fish Cod works best) cut into manageable pieces
1 1/4C Flour, sifted
1 Egg Yolk (reserve egg white)
1 1/4C Newcastle Brown Ale (a little less than 1 bottle)
1C Flour, sifted
1/8tsp each Onion Powder, Garlic Powder and Sweet Paprika
2T Sweet Pickle Relish
2tsp Lemon Juice
Instructions: Get your oil going early as it takes a long time to get it hot. You'll be deep frying, use whatever method suits you, we have a pot with a wire basket. Don't fill the pot more than halfway with oil or it will overflow the pot. You want the oil to be 375°, you can use any oil you wish but Peanut or Canola have the highest smoke points and are more suited to high temperature deep frying. While the oil is slowly heating mix together the batter ingredients and set aside for 30 minutes to rise. Whisk or sift together the coating in a separate bowl. Take the reserved egg white and whisk until you have stiff peaks, fold it into the batter until blended. Take a jelly roll pan and line it with newspaper or paper bags and turn your oven on to 250°. Fry your chips first, if you're using fresh potatoes then wash and dry them, cut into wedges and deep fry until golden brown. dump them onto the paper lined jelly roll pan and place in oven to keep warm. Let your oil recover temperature back to 375° between batches. Make sure you fish is dry then coat it with the flour mixture before dipping into the batter. Gently place in oil and fry until golden brown. When one side is done turn the fish over to cook the other side. Drain and place in over with fries until all pieces are done. Serve with tartar sauce and malt vinegar.
Unfortunately I didn't have any newspapers laying around to wrap the fish and chips in when I took the picture. Don't worry about lead in newspaper ink, it's been removed since the late 70's and all newsprint inks today are soy based and totally harmless. And yes I'm being very specific about using Newcastle as that is what the recipe calls for. If you try using Guiness or any dark beer it will come out too dark after cooking, likewise if you go cheap and use Miller or Budwiser expect a crappy tasting end result. Newscastle is available for around $6.99/6pk here in Florida and I'm pretty sure you can get it just about anywhere. In a pinch you can substitute Bass ale or any English style brown ale.