The ubiquitous chip – as a nation we just love them. We use 1.6 million tonnes of potatoes a year in the UK to make them. These days they come in many guises and sizes; soggy and drenched in malt vinegar, served in yesterday's newspaper with a side of cod and a saline whiff in the air; rustic skin-on wedges; French fries from your favourite fast food chain and the now common triple-cooked chip, the preserve of the high-end gastro pub (no doubt the very mention of the word 'triple' assures of an extra £1 per portion mark-up!).
To make amazing chips at home, you first need to choose a floury potato, which are naturally good 'chipper' varieties, such as Arran Victory, Red Rooster, Agri, Yukon Gold or that classic all-rounder Maris Piper. Personally I favour a variety called Chippies Choice, specifically grown for this very purpose. Whichever potato you choose, allow 300g per person.
To peel or not to peel? That is the question. Regardless, the first step is to wash and scrub your spuds, then either peel and chip or leave the skin on for the rustic approach. Leave the cut chips to soak in lots of cold water for at least 10 minutes and then change the water again and soak for a further 5 minutes to remove the starch.
Next question: twice or thrice cooked? If it’s the latter, bring them to a gentle simmer in salted water until tender, then remove carefully and place them on a cooling rack to dry out.
You’re going to find a few haven’t survived the journey and have broken up. Believe it or not, although they don’t look the best, these are going to taste great – the chef's treat. Once cool, leave them in the fridge or even better, if you have space, the freezer for an hour. This helps remove even more moisture.
Next, it's time to pick your frying medium. There are several options here; you can go with a vegetable oil like sunflower or rapeseed, or try something a little different like duck fat or beef dripping – even horse fat is popular in France!