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Will tells me it’s bad form to judge a restaurant by the chips they serve as it’s so subjective, but I do. Every time. Not ordering fries in a restaurant is a rare occurrence for me (my preference: French Fries. Thin cut, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside) and I will return to an eaterie just for the chips. I love them.
My current top three chip vendors are, in no particular order:
– Malmaison, Farringdon: come with a homemade aioli, my personal favourite condiment. Not too thin, not too thick. Crispy.
– Robinson’s, Newport Pagnell, Bucks: super crispy and moreish, though slightly too greasy the last time I went, maybe they were having an off day? V good value for money.
– Hix at Selfridges, London: cooked to crispy perfection in a vat of Beef dripping. Enough said.
I’d like to give an honourary mention to the No Stress Cafe in Paris who served me a plate of sublime fries a couple of weeks ago but for logistical reasons it’s tough to return there on a regular basis. I also suffered a dose of dicky tummy from their steak tartare but it was so tasty that it was almost worth it.
It was the side of fries I had at Hix recently that inspired me to design my own perfect fries. These were cooked in beef dripping and I’m practically salivating thinking of them now. They were AMAZING. Amazing, amazing. My homemade chips were not so amazing, but nearly there. I am a dripping convert.
The second recipe is one of Will’s creations which he took me by surprise with one evening. As a total contrast they use skin-on potato wedges but are every bit as crispy and moreish as my delicious French Fries.
Beef Dripping French Fries
It goes without saying that boiling beef dripping to such high temperatures is slightly dangerous so please be careful; don’t go and take a bath while the homemade chips are cooking or anything.
– 750g Beef Dripping
– Potatoes, chopped to slim chip size: approx 6-8mm wide
– Sea salt
1. Put chipped potatoes in a medium-sized heavy-bottomed saucepan and cover with water. Turn on a medium heat until the water is simmering and cook for around three minutes, until just soft on the outside.
2. Drain and clean the saucepan of any remaining liquid.
3. Put the Beef dripping in the saucepan and again heat on medium until melted. Cook the oil at 180 degrees (if you don’t use a deep fat fryer you can measure the temperature of the oil with a sugar thermometer).
4. Cook the fries in batches (you don’t want to add too many at once as they’ll lower the temperature of the oil) until they start turning golden. Remove from the fat and drain on kitchen towel.
5. Once all fries have been cooked, turn the oil up to high (220 degrees) and fry in batches once more until golden-brown all over.
6. Drain again and serve with a liberal sprinkling of sea salt.
Will’s Outstanding Potato Wedges
The below is my go-to recipe when I don’t want a smelly house (as this is what happens when you deep fry stuff. Without fail). it’s still an amazing recipe for homemade chips.
– Potatoes, washed, unpeeled and sliced into half then chunky wedges
– Olive oil, a very generous slug of
– Sea salt and black pepper
1. Heat your oven to 220 degrees c.
2. Put your wedges on a baking tray and glug a load of olive oil over them; enough so they all have a light coating.
3. Season with salt and pepper and put in the oven until golden brown.
4. When the potatoes start turning golden brown (about 15 minutes) turn the oven down to 180 degrees.
5. Cook until done, around 20 minutes.