Beer-Battered Cod with Tartar Sauce


Raise a pint and a plate to St. Patrick this month with an ale-enhanced fish and chips. Chef Andy Husbands recommends a beer batter for the UK classic and tops his fried cod with an easy homemade tartar sauce. You can substitute Guinness for an even more Irish take, (sipping to make sure it’s fresh, of course).


Servings: 6


For the tartar sauce:
  • 1 1/4 cups aioli
  • 1 medium-size kosher dill pickle, minced, plus 2 tablespoons pickle juice
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and minced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the cod:

  • 2 pounds cod fillet, cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 bottles (24 ounces) of your favorite ale
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Canola or peanut oil, for frying
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. In a small bowl, combine all the tartar sauce ingredients. Stir to mix thoroughly and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the cod and 2 cups of flour. Toss to coat.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the remaining 3 cups flour with the cornmeal, thyme, chili powder, cayenne, baking powder and salt. Add the beer and water; mix well.
  4. Add 4 inches of oil to a stockpot or Dutch oven and heat to 350F. Test by dropping a piece of fish into the oil. It should sizzle vigorously and immediately on the surface without sinking or burning.
  5. When the oil is ready, lift the cod pieces out of the flour, lightly shaking off excess, and drop into the beer batter. Use tongs to transfer the coated pieces, one at a time, into the oil, frying in batches so as not to crowd the pan.
  6. As the fish fries, use the tongs to separate and move the pieces around. Fry until dark golden brown underneath (about 2 minutes) then turn and cook the second side (1 to 2 minutes more). Remove the fish, allowing excess oil to drip back into the pan, and transfer to a paper-towel lined plate. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot with the tartar sauce.

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