This is such a classic British dish and there are numerous variations you can do; beer or beef dripping in the batter, chips oven cooked or double fried and all of these are good to try and see what you prefer.  This is a great basic recipe to start from and makes a brilliant family supper.

Serves 4


4 x 150g white fish fillet, ask your fishmonger for the best of the catch

2 egg yolks

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

 3tbsp white wine vinegar

200ml vegetable oil

1 tbsp capers, roughly chopped

1tbsp gherkins, roughly chopped

4-5 green olives, chopped

½ red onion, chopped 

Small handful fresh parsley, finely chopped

6tbsp plain flour

6tbsp cornflour

Pinch salt

400-500ml your favourite ale 

1 lemon

Maris Piper potatoes – enough for 4 people for chips - about 8 large potatoes, peel and cut into chunky chips


First make the tartare sauce.  Whisk together the egg yolks, mustard and vinegar and whilst whisking pour in the oil in a steady stream until you have a thick creamy mayonnaise.  Taste and season and add a squeeze of lemon. Then stir in the onion, gherkins, capers, parsley and olives.  The sauce should be quite piquant and chunky and have the consistency of very thick double cream.

Mix the flours together and whisk in enough ale and pinch of salt until you have a double cream consistency.  

Heat a deep fat fryer to 190 degrees. Dip the fish in batter and drop carefully into the hot oil, which should immediately sizzle. Shake the basket gently so it doesn’t stick and cook for about 3-5 minutes. Don’t overload the basket or the oil will cool and you’ll get soggy batter. Three pieces of fish at a time will be fine. 

Cook the chips in oil heated to about 140 degrees for 8-9 minutes, so they’re just cooked. Then put them back in the oil for a further 2-3 minutes at 190 degrees, so they crisp up at the last minute.