Being sent mystery packages in the post is intriguing. When an odd cardboard box arrived in the office, I took one look and then let people have a rummage through it. Cue lots of “ooohs” and “aaahs”. The good people at Ben Shaw’s sent me a box of their retro drinks, with flavours like Dandelion & Burdock, Cloudy Lemonade and Cream Soda. For the record, Dandelion & Burdock tastes just as weird as you remember. The Cream Soda was a massive hit.
Along with the drinks they asked me to incorporate it into a recipe. And so Shandy Cobbler was born. When I told my Dad what I was having for dinner, he thought I was on about some sort of pie, but no, cobbler is a type of river fish. And I used Ben Shaw’s Bitter Shandy in the batter for lifting foam and savoury flavour which works really well with the meaty and slightly bland fish. A neat twist on regular batter.
Shandy cobbler (serves 2):
150g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon honey
330ml Ben Shaw’s Bitter Shandy
1 egg, beaten
2 river cobbler fillets
- Heat some plain oil to 180°C, or use a deep fat fryer.
- Season the fish all over with salt and white pepper. Whisking the flour with the baking powder, honey and shandy and a generous pinch of salt.
- Dip the fish in the batter to coat well and then lower gently into the hot oil. While it cooks occasionally flick a few extra bits of batter mix on to the fish to layer up the crust. Cook until golden brown in colour, about 5 – 7 mins depending on the thickness of your fish. Drain on kitchen paper briefly before serving with chips and plenty of malt vinegar.