The Happy marriage of salt cod and potatoes

A simple recipe that is quick to make and delicious.  A definite winner  for a spring/summer dish in our book.

We first had salt cod and potatoes when we visited Portugal a few years ago. We have had salt fish many times before, coming from a Caribbean background, but the combo of potatoes and Portuguese sunshine added a delicious element we hadn’t indulged in before.

There are a lot of variations on this recipe out there. We got ours from the guardian`recommended recipes’ page and as usually added little touches of our own.


Serves 6-8
white floury potatoes 1kg, such as Désirée or Maris Piper
onion 1 large, thinly sliced
garlic cloves 4-6, peeled and thinly sliced or chopped
marjoram 2 tbsp, plus a couple of stems for topping (optional)
double cream 500ml
salted pollack or cod fillets 300-400g, thoroughly soaked, skinned and sliced into small pieces
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 160C/gas mark 2-3. Peel and slice the potatoes thinly into 2-3mm rounds. Place the slices in a large bowl with the onions, garlic and marjoram, and plenty of black pepper (it may not need salt as the fish will bring this to the mix). Place the cream into a small pan over a medium heat and bring it up to a simmer. Pour the hot cream over the potatoes and turn well to combine.

Place a relatively neat layer of overlapping potatoes in the bottom of a large round dish, about 20-25cm in diameter and 5cm deep. Scatter over some of the sliced fish, then make a second layer of overlapping potatoes. Continue until you have used up the fish, finishing with a layer of potato on top. Pour over all the remaining cream from the bowl. Top with a couple of marjoram flower stems, which I think look lovely, dry and brittle as glass in the oven – but of course they’re not essential.

Place the dish in the oven and bake the layered potato and fish pie for 1 hour, pressing the potatoes down firmly once or twice during cooking using a spatula, until the potatoes are tender, the top layer is golden and the sauce is bubbling. Remove the dish from the oven and allow it time to settle. It will be much better, and still nice and hot, after 30 minutes of sitting. Serve with a green salad or steamed, lemony purple sprouting broccoli.

We served ours with a mix of broccoli and carrots and used garlic not marjoram and cod.

Another great recipe to add to the repertoire.

Let us know how you get on and what variations you have tried.

Happy cooking! x



2 thoughts on “The Happy marriage of salt cod and potatoes

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