Hestons Triple Cooked Chips

Discussion in 'Geek Recipes' started by PaPaGeorGeo, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. PaPaGeorGeo

    PaPaGeorGeo Member

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    So I decided to wow my partner on Valentines with a simple steak & chips. I'm not sure if she was too impressed when I told her.

    For anyone who hasn't heard about this recipe, it involves cooking the potatoes you guessed it 3 times. First Simmering them to make sure they are nice and fluffy in the middle as well as breaking up the edges to ensure a great crust later on. They are then deep fried twice.

    Heston recipe recommends Maris Piper potatoes that are readily available in the UK but cant be found here. I read that someone else on the net had used Desiree potatoes to great effect so that is what I went with.


    Ingredients

    1kg Desiree potatoes cut into approximately 2x2x6cm chip
    Grape seed or Groundnut Oil
    Sea Salt

    Sorry about the lack of pictures at the start I only decided mid way through that i would post this on here.

    Place the chips into a bowl under running water for around 5 minutes to wash the starch off, The water will go clear when this is done.

    Place the washed chips in a large sauce pan with cold water, and simmer the chips until they look like they are about to fall apart, The edges of the chips should now be rough. The rougher the better.

    Now place the chips on a cake rack to dry out, for 10 minutes. Then move the rack into the freezer and leave them there for 1 hour (i had no room in my freezer so i placed them in my drinks fridge). This process is done to remove more moisture.

    Using a deep pan, heat up the oil to 130C and fry the chips in small batches. This should take around 5 minutes, you want to fry them till a crust as formed and they have just started to colour. Again place them on the cake rack and move them to freezer for an hour.

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    This time heat the oil up to 180C and fry the chips until golden. Drain them and put some salt on and they are ready to go.

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  2. BeanerSA

    BeanerSA Member

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    Mmmm. Chips.....
     
  3. OP
    OP
    PaPaGeorGeo

    PaPaGeorGeo Member

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    Oh and for the record they were the best chips I have ever had. Sooo crispy even the ones that i had leftover that had been sitting around for 20 minutes
     
  4. karn1911

    karn1911 Member

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    Looks good; total prep and cook times?
     
  5. oinkoink

    oinkoink Member

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    I need to get me a deep fryer after reading this thread. Any recs or are they all much of a muchness?

    Planning to make some of these chips, then drizzle with truffle oil and finely grated parmesan :weirdo:
     
  6. arytel

    arytel Member

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    Subscribed. I've been looking for this recipe and can't wait to try this out soon.
     
  7. Amfibius

    Amfibius Member

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    Actually, I have been doing quite a lot of "research" at home on Heston's triple cooked fries :) All of you will think I have gone crazy, but my recipe for a perfect french fry is - buy a bag of McCain's frozen french fries and deep fry them.

    Justification for my damaged reputation follows :)

    I have made triple cooked chips over a dozen times. The major problem I had was with inconsistent results - sometimes they would fry up really nicely, but sometimes they would be hard (instead of crunchy), or fail to maintain a crisp surface. I have experimented with different types of potatoes, different amounts of salinity in the boiling liquid, different cooking oils, different ways of dehydrating the chips, and so on. The major lesson I have learnt is that these fries lose a lot of size when fried up - if you cut 1cm thick chips, you might end up with shoestring fries which (if you are unlucky) will turn out dense and hard like a grissini stick. The most critical variable seems to be the type of potato you buy - and with a dozen different types of potatoes to choose from, this is a bit of a minefield. As OP says - the potatoes that Heston recommends are not available in Australia. And if you watch his "In search of perfection" episode on the triple fry chip - the selection of potato by dry weight is critical.

    I then came across this article. Suspend your disbelief for a moment, but the author says that for him, McDonalds fries are everything a french fry should be - crunchy, thin, packed with potato flavour - and more importantly, consistent throughout their thousands of restaurants. He then goes on to find out why.

    He points out that he does not have the benefit of a research kitchen, large staff, and a million dollar research budget so he tried to steal their recipe. He did manage to speak to a few people in the McDonalds supply chain and gives a reasonably detailed description of how it is done.

    It turns out that McDonalds have developed their own version of triple cooked chips. First it is cut, then boiled, then fried at a low temperature, then sorted, then frozen. It is delivered frozen and then fried again, salted, and served. Read carefully the parts about selection of potato and quality control - it turns out that there is a lot of QC going on in McDonalds products that we are not aware of.

    This got me thinking ... I wonder if McCain similarly boils and low temp fries their chips before freezing them and shipping them off to be sold? All my previous efforts at oven fry chips have turned out horrible chips - dried or limp. But I did notice that all of them are pale blonde and felt slightly oily - indicating a fry procedure before they were frozen.

    So I bought a bag of McCain's chips and deep fried it.

    Result: win! These chips are very nearly as good as Heston's triple fry chips. The downside - you don't get to select your potato or your cut. The upside - they are far more consistent, much easier, and almost as cheap as making your own.

    And there is nothing to stop you from using your choice of cooking oil to elevate them to the next level. Duck fat is expensive - $10 for 250gm. I have found that beef tallow (what McDonald's used to use) is sold for $2.50 for 500gm. That is about the same price as most vegetable oils! I felt a bit funny melting four blocks of white beef tallow in my deep frier, but the resulting fries are amazing.

    Oh, and the best chips I have found are beer battered fries. They are not McCains, they are some other brand. Can't remember the brand right now :(

    So I am sorry to bust into your thread with this, but I thought you would like to know :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  8. bl4ck32

    bl4ck32 Member

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    Gotta agree with Amf on that. Been deep frying chips for years and nothing can beat the consistent results of the frozen kind. I save my spuds for mash, and splurge on better oil like rice bran and it always produces crispy light fries / chips etc. Do it right and hot and drain properly and you dont eat half the oil they are cooked in.
     
  9. twinhardballers

    twinhardballers Member

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    Have been meaning to try the triple cooked chip recipe from "How to cook like Heston" and I'm finally gunna do it tomorrow. Will take amf's advice though and try out some of the frozen variety, I sort of already guessed that the chips at mcdonalds have been cooked more than once.

    Will post results tomorrow night.
     
  10. mitsimonsta

    mitsimonsta Member

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    To get the very best chips, fry in Beef Tallow. This is available in the supermarket as a solidified block near the butter - I think it's called Superfry and it's in a red wrapper. These days it's Animal/vegetable blend though.

    The resultant fried product tastes like you used to get at McDonalds before they went to Canola oil.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  11. karn1911

    karn1911 Member

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    I had a sneaking suspicion that making home-made chips would be highly variable in taste and texture. Plus the cooking and prep time would far outweigh the simplicity of frozen chips considering the frozen chips I've had are quite good and that's what the chippies use anyway.

    Good info on the beef tallow; now if only I could get some of that sweet MSG laced yellow chicken salt. :thumbup:
     
  12. OP
    OP
    PaPaGeorGeo

    PaPaGeorGeo Member

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    Prep times, it took me 15 minutes or so to peel and cut potatoes. This would could be improved obviously, but that was the first time i had peeled potatoes in ages.

    The Simmering took about 30 minutes, again it depends on the type of potatoes.

    The first fry took around 6 minutes, although I don't have a deep fryer and found it very hard to maintain a consistent temperature. I ended up heating the oil to around 150C then once the chips were placed in the oil the temperature would drop significantly. Once you have done this step you can leave the chips in the fridge for 3 days and they should be fine.

    Second fry took longer a little longer although again with out a deep fryer keeping constant temperature.



    Regarding the Frozen chips. The thing is the chips from McDonalds and other places are actually a really good product when you get them fresh and they haven't been sitting in a sealed paper bag allowing them to go soggy.


    That being said, the crust on Heston's chips was on another level for me, The crunch as you bit into them was something else. Better than any take away or fast food joint. My partner was really impressed.

    The real question is would I do it again, probably not anytime soon well maybe if i got a deep fryer, Trying to fry in a pan was messy and it was hard to get the temperature right.

    Although i do believe these were the best chips I've ever had, how much better are than the frozen chips or fresh McDonald's chips maybe 20% better not worth the effort on a regular basis when the frozen variety are really good anyway. I can see Although if you have a spare afternoon I do think you should try them at least once.
     
  13. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    I've got a sunbeam cafe one. I've only done chips a couple of times. First time really good. Second not so good, not the right potatoes. Only cook them twice but they were lovely and crisp. I.ve never really fried before because I hate the way the fat gets sprayed about, but the deep fryer is great, no mess.
     
  14. pasey25

    pasey25 Member

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    i agree the trick is choosing the right potato

    the frozen chips are nearly always russet burbank (same as maccas). I've never seen them for sale in greengrocers

    I've grown them (russet burbanks) myself the last couple of years. last year in the ground (good results but too small, the soil wasn't aerated enough. this year I've done them in pots with a 1:1:1 mix of potting mix, sugar cane mulch and mushroom compost.

    one pot had the tops die back a few weeks ago and made great chips (i double fry only - i don't do the pre boil). the other pot is starting to die back now and I'm expecting to harvest when I get back from the beach on the weekend.

    I've fried up frozen chips in the past too with great results. when the potato season is over and I've run out of my par fried ones out of the freezer I'll be onto these again
     
  15. sjobeck

    sjobeck Member

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    Sorry to hijack but are there any recommendations on a good quality deep fryer?
     
  16. Amfibius

    Amfibius Member

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    Deep sided pot + thermometer + wire basket.
     
  17. pasey25

    pasey25 Member

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    i don't even have a wire basket. i just use one of those wire skimmers I got originally for my wok dishes:

    http://www.chef.com.au/prod/show/115/216/5415/fine-mesh-skimmer-with-long-handle/

    it performs fine and I can get everything out in two scoops.

    i do need a new thermometer though. I'm using one from my bbq, and the shaft isn't long enough so I have to attach it to another utensil for when I'm frying so i downt have to hold my hand so close to the oil.

    haven't found a suitable one in shops so might peruse online for something....
     
  18. scon

    scon Member

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    Protip: Get a thermometer with a clip so you don't have to hold it at all!
     
  19. pasey25

    pasey25 Member

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    thats the plan!
     
  20. bl4ck32

    bl4ck32 Member

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