Baked salt cod with caramelised onions and potatoes

Baked salt cod with caramelised onions and potatoes

Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá

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There are at least 365 salt cod recipes in Portuguese cuisine, one for every day of the year, but this is one of the few that everyone knows. Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá was created in a restaurant in Porto, where the chef, after whom the dish is named, was the son of a cod merchant who had gone bankrupt. He apparently said, ‘if you change anything in this recipe, it won’t be good,’ but I have to say I don’t agree with him. I have replaced dried salt cod with freshly cured cod, which makes the dish creamy rather than salty. Make sure the onions are caramelised slowly, to bring out their sweetness.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
400g potatoes, such as Maris Piper or similar
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
4 onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped, plus 1 halved garlic clove
300g Hearty cod and coriander broth, cured cod, cure it for only 20 minutes
3 eggs
a small handful black olives, sliced into rings
a handful parsley leaves, finely chopped
extra-virgin olive oil, to serve
sea salt flakes
ground white pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 210°C. Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until soft but not mushy, then drain. Once cool enough to handle, cut horizontally into 1cm slices.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook gently for 10 minutes, until soft, and season well with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Increase the heat slightly to caramelise the onions, stirring well to ensure they don’t stick. Once they are caramelised and sweet, remove the pan from the heat.
  3. Oil the base of a large ovenproof baking dish and rub it with the halved garlic clove. Cut the cod into bite-sized chunks. Make an even layer of potatoes on the bottom of the dish, then one of onions, followed by one of cod. Repeat with another layer of each and finish with a layer of potatoes and onions. Cover with a lid or kitchen foil and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through, removing the lid after 10 minutes.
  4. Put the eggs in a pan of cold water, ensuring they are fully covered. Bring the water to the boil over a high heat, then remove the pan from the heat, cover and leave for 10 minutes. Put the eggs in iced water to stop them cooking any further and peel them once cool.
  5. Just before serving, slice the eggs into wedges. Scatter the eggs, olives and parsley on top of the potatoes and onions. Serve hot, straight from the baking dish, with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
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