Battered cod with chips and homemade tomato ketchup

Cod in beer batter with chips and one-pan homemade ketchup.


For the tomato ketchup
  • 250ml/9floz red wine vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 75g/3oz light soft brown sugar
  • 4 x 400g/14oz tinned tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp English mustard powder
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Tabasco sauce, to taste
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1-2 tbsp cornflour
For the fish and chips
  • 400g/14oz floury potatoes, peeled and cut into thick batons 6cm/2½in long and dried on kitchen paper
  • 15g/2/3oz fresh yeast
  • pinch sugar
  • 200ml/7floz beer
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 200g/7oz plain flour
  • pinch salt
  • 4 x 175g/6oz cod fillet, skinned and pin bones removed

Preparation method

  1. For the tomato ketchup, place the vinegar, bay leaf, spices and sugar in a heavy-based pan and bring to a simmer.

  2. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil, stirring to prevent any sticking.

  3. Reduce the temperature and simmer, stirring frequently for 30 minutes – be careful the mix doesn’t catch and burn.

  4. Blend in a food processor or liquidizer and strain the sauce through a sieve.

  5. If you find the sauce too thin once cold, then simply re-boil and thicken with a little cornflour mixed to a paste with water, being careful not to make it to starchy and too thick. This will prevent the tomato water separating from the sauce.

  6. Heat a deep fat fryer to 170C/350F (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended).

  7. Place the potatoes into the fat fryer in batches and cook for 2-3 minutes until just tender but not coloured.

  8. Drain onto kitchen paper and turn up the fat fryer to 190C/375F.

  9. Sprinkle the yeast and sugar into a mixing bowl.

  10. Pour over the beer and vinegar and whisk in the flour.and salt

  11. Leave to ferment – it is ready to use when the mixture starts to bubble.

  12. Dip the cod fillets into the batter and fry until golden-brown and cooked through – about 3-4 minutes.

  13. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

  14. Keep warm on a tray in the oven if necessary.

  15. Place the semi cooked chips back into the fat fryer in batches and cook for another 2-3 minutes until golden-brown and crisp.

  16. To serve, pile the chips onto the plate and place the cod alongside. Serve with a dollop of tomato ketchup.

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen

Less than 30 mins preparation time

30 mins to 1 hour cooking time

Serves 4

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