Constanza’s salt cod with potato and mushrooms

Constanza’s salt cod with potato and mushrooms

By
From
Complete Mushroom Book
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Alastair Hendy

Constanza Guimares is our invaluable housekeeper. When I asked her how the Portuguese would use mushrooms, she came up with the idea of combining them with what is probably the most used and best-loved ingredient in Portugal – bacalau, the salt cod from Norway. The recipe sounded so homely and comforting that I had to have a go, and here it is, using the very large brown cultivated Portobello mushroom.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
800g salt cod, cut into chunks and soaked for 2 days in water, changing the water every few hours
300g portobello mushrooms
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
3 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
400g potatoes, cooked, peeled and sliced
200g mature cheddar cheese, grated
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

White sauce

Quantity Ingredient
30g plain flour
60g butter
400ml milk, very hot
pinch nutmeg, freshly grated

Method

  1. Rinse the cod and cook in boiling water for 30 minutes until tender. Leave to cool in the cooking water, then drain well. Discard all the bones and skin and flake the flesh.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Clean the mushrooms thoroughly, then slice them thickly.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the white sauce. Fry the flour in the butter for a few minutes, stirring, then add the hot milk and whisk energetically to avoid lumps.
  4. Add some salt and pepper and the nutmeg. Cook, stirring, for 10 minutes. Fry the mushrooms briefly in the oil, adding the garlic and most of the parsley towards the end. Take care to save the best-looking and largest mushroom slices to decorate the top of the dish.
  5. Now assemble everything in an earthenware container, starting with a couple of spoonfuls of white sauce in the bottom. Cover this with a layer of cod flakes, then add some of the mushrooms with some potatoes and more white sauce.
  6. Sprinkle with a generous layer of cheddar cheese, then start again with the cod, mushrooms, potatoes and white sauce, then distribute the cheese and the last layer of cod. Decorate with the reserved mushroom slices and the remaining parsley, and grind over some black pepper. Bake in the preheated oven for 25–30 minutes, then serve hot.
Tags:
mushrooms
funghi
foraging
wild food
foraged
Complete Mushroom Book
Antonio
Carluccio
Carlucio
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