Bacalao Con Patatas
This is a hearty stew which is great to serve on a cold winter’s day. Our first experience of this dish was when we lived in the mountains outside Madrid in a village called Miraflores de la Sierra. The local saint there is San Blas and every year on the 3rd February the whole town goes to the countryside not far from town and the town council provides Bacalao con Patatas for everyone.
This recipe traditionally uses salt cod which is readily available in Spain but not so much in other countries. If you can find salt cod and like it then you can use it but if not use fresh cod or any other firm, white fish.
To desalinate the salt cod soak it for at least 24 hours in advance and change the water about every 8 hours. Drain it well before following this recipe.
Serves 4 people
- 500g of salt cod, desalinated and chopped or 700 – 800g of fresh cod
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 green or red pepper or both, diced
- 1 kg potatoes peeled and cut into bite sized chunks – this should be approximately 800g after peeling
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 750ml fish stock – see our Fish Stock Recipe or use shop bought stock
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a large frying pan or pot and fry the onion, pepper and garlic for about 5 minutes on a medium heat.
If you are using salt cod then add it to the pan at this stage and fry for a further 5 minutes.
Add the potato chunks, freshly ground black pepper, salt (see below) and fish stock making sure to cover all of the ingredients. Bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer for approximately 30 or 40 minutes until the potatoes are cooked and almost falling apart. If you are using fresh cod rather than salt cod add your chopped fish to the mix about 10 minutes before the potatoes finish cooking.
Note: The amount of salt you will need to add depends on whether you are using salt cod or fresh cod and whether you are using shop bought stock or homemade stock. If using fresh fish and homemade stock add approximately 1 teaspoon of salt. If you are using any other combination add very little but taste often during cooking to check if it needs more.
Season with salt and pepper if necessary and serve in bowls with some crusty bread.