For the mushy peas
225g dried marrow fat peas
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
25g unsalted butter
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the pollock
200g plain flour
15g fresh yeast or 8g fast-action dried yeast
A pinch of caster sugar
A pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Vegetable oil and dripping, for deep- frying
1kg pollock fillets, skin on, pin-boned and cut into 5cm pieces
For the lemon mayonnaise
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon English mustard
300ml rapeseed oil
2 lemons, zested and juiced
50g softened unsalted butter
1 long baguette, split horizontally
1. Soak the peas in a large bowl in three times their volume of water with the bicarbonate of soda, for at least 12 hours, preferably overnight.
2. Drain the peas, rinse under cold running water, then place on the stove in a large pan and cover with water. Cover and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer the peas for 20–30 minutes, stirring from time to time. They should be soft and mushy
in texture, but not too dry. If they are wet, continue cooking them with the lid off to dry them out a little. Beat in the butter and season with salt and pepper.
3. To make the lemon mayo, place the egg yolks and mustard in a food processor, and blend until pale and creamy. With the motor running, pour in the oil in a slow, steady stream, until the mayonnaise is thick (you may not need all the oil). Mix in the lemon zest and juice, and season to taste.
4. To cook the pollock, mix the flour, yeast, sugar, salt and vinegar together in a bowl. Add the beer and whisk until the mixture forms a thick batter. Set aside to ferment for about 30 minutes – it is ready to use when the mixture starts to bubble.
5. Heat a deep-fat fryer to 190°C/375°F, or heat the oil for deep-frying in a deep heavy- based frying pan until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns brown when dropped into it. (CAUTION: Hot oil can be dangerous.
Do not leave unattended.)
6. Dip each piece of fish into the batter to
coat thoroughly. Lower carefully into the fryer and cook one at a time. Fry for
4–6 minutes, until the fish is cooked through and the batter is golden-brown. Scatter the remaining batter into the fat fryer and fry until golden-brown. Drain the fish on kitchen paper and season with salt.
7. To serve, spread the softened butter along the length of the baguette and top with the mushy peas. Place pieces of pollock all along the mushy peas and drizzle over the lemon mayonnaise. Add the batter scraps, then cover with the top of the baguette and gently press down. Serve in one long piece and carve at the table.
More Home Comforts by James Martin (Quadrille £20) photography Peter Cassidy