Bacalhau com broa – recipe
Bread is an essential ingredient in the Portuguese food tradition. As such, we couldn’t help it but develop some dishes that blend our staple bread and our much beloved salted cod, bacalhau.
Today, we explore an incredible oven-baked recipe that features salted cod with a crust made with broa, that is, Portuguese cornbread. This is a typical recipe from the northern Minho region, where historically corn has been used even more than wheat, normally associated with the southern provinces of Portugal. You can prepare Bacalhau com Broa with individual pieces of cod loin baked in the oven or as a one-tray casserole. To inspire you to follow a truly easy recipe, we go for the latter option.
Ingredients for 4 servings:
500g desalted codfish (buy already desalted codfish and follow these tips)
100ml olive oil
3 garlic cloves
Salt and pepper to taste
Place the pieces of cod in a pot with abundant water and boil for about 15 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the water and allow to cool down. When you can handle the fish, shred it with your hands carefully removing skin and bones.
Using two separate pans, boil the eggs and the peeled potatoes in salted water. Once the potatoes are soft, mash them with a potato masher and add more salt and pepper to taste.
Heat up the olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the sliced onions and garlic until transparent. Remove the onions and garlic from the oil, and keep the oil for later.
In a separate bowl, make coarse bread crumbs with cornbread using your hands.
Now, we are ready to assemble our casserole! In an oven-safe dish place the fried onions and garlic at the bottom (save the olive oil to finish the casserole). Cover with an even layer of mashed potatoes. Add in the sliced boiled eggs and the shredded cod, and top up with cornbread crumbs. Sprinkle the leftover olive oil all over the corn crumbs to make them crispy.
Bake in a preheated oven at 200ºC for about 15 minutes, or until the cornbread looks golden. What a treat!
Have you tried a traditional Portuguese recipe using old bread?