Most people fall into either the french fry category (thin and crispy) or the chip category (thick and potatoey). I happen to love both. I’m an equal opportunist when it comes to golden, delicious deep-fried potatoes. Thin, thick, crunchy, crispy, I love it all. What I don’t like is deep-frying my own potatoes. I don’t have anything against the deep-frying part, I’m just impatient when it comes to getting deep-fried goodness into my belly. Most french fry or chip recipes take a solid chunk of time and I’m sorry to say that this recipe does too. But trust me — taking the time to triple fry your chips is worth it.
I’ve triple cooked chips before and while delicious, they didn’t taste remotely like the chips I’ve had in London. They really know how to deep-fry thick cut chips in the UK and I’m convinced that it’s due to both the potato variety and the fat they fry in. Most fries in North America are made from russet potatoes and are deep fried in canola oil whereas the chips in the UK are generally made from Maris Piper potatoes and are fried in beef drippings.
I’ve never ever seen Maris Piper potatoes in Vancouver before so I jumped at the chance of buying a bag while I was in London. A quick trip down the butter aisle yielded beef drippings and I decided to take some time out of my London eating adventures to try my hand at making real English chips.
It’s probably not nearly as healthy as frying in canola oil, but I totally loved frying in beef dripping. The chips turned out flavourful and super crisp – probably due to the fact that they were triple-fried. Of course, there can be such a thing as too many dips into hot oil, but I think one more than the standard of double frying isn’t too over the top. The chips ended up being quadruple-cooked, but isn’t more always better?
Proper British Chips Recipe inspired by Heston Blumenthal
- 3-4 Maris Piper potatoes
- 6 cups of beef drippings
- salt to taste
Peel the Maris piper potatoes and cut into evenly sized wedges. Place in a large bowl under cold running water to rinse off the starch.
Drain and place the wedges in a pot of cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat and then lower and simmer gently for 6-7 minutes. The wedges should be almost cooked, but not yet soft.
Drain the potatoes and place in a large roasting tin. Air dry for five minutes and then shake the tin to rough up the edges, which allows for extra surface for extra crispiness. Cool and chill in the refrigerator until your beef fat has heated up.
Heat up the beef fat in a large pot over medium heat until the fat is 265°F. Fry the chips in batches for 4-5 minutes. They will be pale golden. Remove the chips from the fat, drain and place on paper towels. Cool and place in the fridge if you aren’t planning on eating your chips right away.
When you’re ready to eat your chips, heat the beef fat up to 375°F and fry for another 4-5 minutes. Remove the chips from the fat and drain. They should be a deeper brown and quite crispy. At this point, you can enjoy your chips sprinkled with salt to taste, or if you’re a crunch fiend like me, fry them again for another 2 minutes until they’re deeply golden brown and incredibly crunchy. Enjoy hot.
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