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  • There's steam coming off it.

  • Chips.

  • I get very, very nostalgic about proper British chips.

  • I mean, I love French fries with all my heart, dipped

  • in mayonnaise, plenty of salt, but there's just

  • something really nostalgic about fat British-styled chips,

  • don't you think?

  • My great-grandparents ran a chippy.

  • So I've got chip fat in my blood,

  • and my Nan made the best chips in the world, which was good

  • because my mum was of the generation that totally thought

  • chips were poison to children.

  • And my dad, bless his heart, was an insurance investigator,

  • and he used to come home every day

  • having seen another chip-pan fire.

  • So I'd sneak round to Nan's for chips.

  • Chips are so emotional for me.

  • You got your gear ready?

  • Yeah, sunflower oil, which was not easy to find.

  • Any neutral vegetable oil will work, two,

  • three inches of that.

  • We're going to aim to get this off to 165 degrees centigrade.

  • Best potato, if you can get it, is Maris Piper.

  • I want chip shop chips.

  • Chips are going to be fat, right?

  • It's important that they're uniform though because you

  • don't want them kind of cooking at different...

  • That's exactly right, yeah.

  • The original way to do it was just

  • to chuck the chips in the fat, and the outside fries

  • and the inside steams, but it doesn't really

  • work that brilliantly.

  • The second way was to double cook, which

  • is what we're going to do here.

  • It was low temperature, first of all, which steams the inside,

  • then you heat the oil back up, you put them back in again,

  • and that crisps the exterior.

  • The really clever way that a lot of chefs are doing it

  • now is called triple cooking.

  • You steam the potatoes first, or boil them, then you dry them,

  • then you do the double cook process.

  • They'll never admit this when they tell you

  • about how they're cooking it, but you probably

  • lose about a third of your chips because they come out

  • of the steamer and some of them just fall apart.

  • You have kindly provided me with this cooking thermometer.

  • Yes.

  • So this is how we're going to test

  • the temperature of the oil.

  • What about if you don't have one of these things?

  • If you don't have a thermometer or you

  • don't have a deep fat fryer where

  • you can set the temperature, then I

  • would suggest you cut the chips quite thin,

  • put them in, let them go until they look good on the outside,

  • then pull one out and try it.

  • And that's all you can really do without a thermometer.

  • Honestly, you've got to get these things in every home

  • kitchen in the country.

  • It makes everything so much simpler.

  • The dinner ladies at your kid's school use this by law.

  • The kid in a paper hat in Terminal Acme at McDonald's

  • uses one of these by law.

  • You can get one online for 12 quid.

  • There is no logical reason why every kitchen does not got one.

  • What's your temperature now?

  • Don't touch the bottom of the pan with it.

  • OK.

  • I did just do that.

  • It's OK.

  • So I've just cut up one potato to chips about that size.

  • Lay them out on a tray on a piece of kitchen roll.

  • Mate, you are making pretty heavy weather

  • of cooking some chips.

  • You've all but got your tongue sticking out

  • the corner of your mouth.

  • Well, is what you were saying about making them uniform.

  • I'm possibly overthinking this.

  • Well, that's what I mean.

  • After the bread shift I was quite prepared

  • to give you a job.

  • I'm looking at it now and thinking,

  • you really better stick to the day job of making videos.

  • Even on minimum wage, you can't cut chips fast enough.

  • Sure.

  • I just snorted.

  • Do them in two batches.

  • Lower them into the fat.

  • Never overfill the pan because that's

  • how you start a chip-pan fire.

  • You just stop them before they go brown really.

  • You're keeping them vaillant blonde.

  • We're essentially kind of hard boiling them, except in fat.

  • Yes.

  • It's precisely that process.

  • And do this first stage, which is called blanching,

  • and you just lay them out on trays,

  • with paper underneath them to catch the grease.

  • You have the chip pan going at the second temperature, which

  • is 185.

  • And how long does the frying it at 185 take?

  • About three minutes.

  • In they go.

  • So Tim, if he had to choose, French fries or fat British

  • chips?

  • No question.

  • Fat English chips.

  • Fat English chips every time.

  • I mean, I think they both have their place.

  • For me, it's about it tasting like potatoes.

  • So the inside of a good chip should

  • taste like the inside of a proper baked potato.

  • You can get all kinds of horrible, cheap,

  • commodity chipping chips, and with those, yeah,

  • you want to do them how they would do it in a McDonald's.

  • You plunge them in the fat.

  • It's all about the fat crisp outer coat,

  • and nobody really cares about the inside.

  • That's fine.

  • You could do cotton wool balls the same way if you want to.

  • For those kind of fries, those American style fries,

  • or continental European style fries, with a cold beer,

  • and a pot of mayonnaise, and lashings of salt. I mean,

  • that is a...

  • that's a beautiful thing.

  • Don't knock it.

  • My bread is buttered, and this is very, very important.

  • The main condiment you're thinking about here,

  • the thing that's going to really going

  • to season your chips beautifully,

  • is going to be the amount of melted butter

  • that runs down your chin.

  • I don't think it needs anything else, frankly, a chip butty,

  • does it?

  • It doesn't need any sauce?

  • My camera operator says that I used

  • too much butter on my bread and too much salt on my chips,

  • but I think something like a chip butty

  • deserves too much of both of those things.

  • OK, here we go.

  • The steam coming off it.

  • That's good.

  • Mmm.

  • Just check camera two.

  • Good?

  • Camera two is really happy.

  • I'm really happy.

  • Are you happy?

  • I'm happy.

  • I didn't put any vinegar on.

  • I think that fat chips like this demand it.

  • Not on the butty, not necessarily.

  • I think when you have chips in newspaper, which you should,

  • by the way, even though it's not legal anymore,

  • chips on the newspaper taste different.

  • I think they really need vinegar with them and lots of salt.

  • But I think in a chip butty, you don't need the vinegar as much

  • because it's about the butter.

  • It's funny talking about the newspaper

  • because if you're of a certain age,

  • that's another thing that just evokes memories of childhood.

  • For me, it was a bag of chips wrapped in the newspaper.

  • Not open, wrapped, so you could then unwrap it at home,

  • and eat it.

  • That's right.

  • The vinegar would have kind of evaporated at this point.

  • I used to ask for extra batter bits on top.

  • Do you ever do that, scraps?

  • Oh, yes.

  • Yeah, you're starting to think like a scientific chef.

  • You imagine how you encapsulate those things and you set them,

  • and then you carry them home, and that's a 10-minute process

  • of steaming and settling, of flavours getting to know each

  • other.

  • And that's got to make it a different product then the one

  • that came out of the pan and was eaten at the shop.

  • Those things are so emotional for us.

  • They're so coded into our brains emotionally,

  • I think culturally, but I love it.

  • I just I can'...

  • I can talk about chips forever.

There's steam coming off it.

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B1 US FinancialTimes fat chip pan vinegar temperature

Lockdown lunches: how to make perfect chips | FT

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    joey joey posted on 2021/09/29
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