Bites and Booze

Beer-Battered Cod Fish and Chips

For just the cost of some cod, malt vinegar and tartar sauce, my table transported to London. We dipped well browned homemade potato wedges into the tangy vinegar, broke open golden, crispy beer batter to reveal tender, moist cod flakes and spooned mounds of buttery peas onto our plates.

Ingredients (serves a hungry four):

  1. 3 large russet potatoes, washed vegetable oil, enough to deep fry
  2. 1 bottle beer
  3. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  4. 2 packages frozen cod, thawed (6 large pieces)
  5. 1 bag frozen peas olive oil, salt and thyme to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and cut each potato into six wedges.
  • Toss with olive oil, salt and thyme and roast for 20 minutes on a baking sheet, flipping once.
  • Heat up half an inch of olive oil in a large pan on high heat and fry the potatoes in batches until they’re golden and crispy.
  • Drain on a paper bag and salt immediately.
  • To make the batter, slowly whisk the beer into the flour and break all clumps.
  • It should have the consistency of pancake batter. Add salt and a dash or two of malt vinegar.
  • Dry the cod with paper towels and cut each into two equal portions.
  • Dip each piece in the batter and gradually sink it into the oil, gently waving it back and forth.
  • This may take three batches so as to not crowd the pot.
  • Allow excess oil to drip off and drain on a paper bag.
  • Salt immediately and serve with tartar sauce and malt vinegar.
  • I served mine with peas cooked in butter.

The better beer for you and your batter

A beer in the batter is worth two in the hands, and Whole Foods Market Beer Buyer Eric Eggleston is well-versed in the art of pairing bites and booze. Eggleston recommended four brews that would be ideal for making your beer-battered fish as well as washing it all down.

Mo Pale Ale
($7.99 for a 16.9 oz. bottle)
This crisp and refreshing beer from Maine may not be what the English prefer, but the American Pale Ale’s zesty citrus flavors would likely pair well with fried foods.

Sam Adams New Albium Ale
($9.99 for a six-pack)
This beer is pale in color and crisp in taste, and is also light enough to allow the flavor of the cod to shine.

Arrogant Bastard Ale
($5.99 for 22 oz. bottle)
This ale lives up to its name with 7.2 percent alcohol. Despite its intensity, Eggleston said it makes a good beer batter for those brutes that like brews with a deep flavor.

Yeungling Lager
($6.99 for a six-pack)
The Yuengling Lager balances hoppiness and malt in a way that is well suited as both a beer batter and a beverage.

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