Dried Cod Basque Style Recipe

Serves/Makes: 4


  • 1 1/2 pound (3/4 kg) dried cod
  • 8 mild red peppers
  • 2 cloves garlic, not peeled
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 hard-boiled egg-yolk
  • 3 ounces (90 g) ham fat (tocino de jamon)
  • 1 tablespoon chicken or meat bouillon
  • Salt
How to cook Dried Cod Basque Style: Dried Cod Basque Style
  • Cut the dried cod into uniform pieces and soak these in water for 24 hours, changing the water several times, to get rid of excess salt. The peppers should also be soaked in cold water for a while.
  • Heat the olive oil and halt the ham fat in a large pan. Add the onion and garlic and cock very gently, over the lowest of flames, for 4 to 5 hours. They must not brown, but should verge very gradually melt into a puree.
  • Heat the peppers in a pan of water, but without bringing it to boiling point.
  • Once the peppers are soft, remove their seeds and scrape the pulp from them with a spoon, adding the pulp to the onion.
  • Mash the egg yolk, moistened by the bouillon, into a paste and then add it too. Finally, pass the sauce through a fine sieve.
  • Carefully scale the pieces of dried cod, taking care not to break or dislodge the skin.
  • Put them in a pan with water to cover and bring almost to boiling point. But, once a scum forms, take the cod out and remove any bones from it.
  • Heat a little more olive oil and melt the remainder of the ham fat in an earthenware casserole (cazuela de barro).
  • Add several large spoonfuls of the sauce, followed by the cod and then the rest of the sauce.
  • Set it on a very low flame, after giving it an initial shake, and cook it for 12 to 15 minutes.
  • You may need to add a little more oil, but not much, during the cooking, and should also adjust the seasoning.
  • Serve in the casserole.
  • This dish will be just as good if reheated on the following day.


The Spanish name of this recipe is Bacalao a la Vizcaina.


Note that the very slow and long cooking of the onions is essential to produce the authentic flavor (although a short-cut is obviously possible here). Bacalao a la Vizcaina is often made with tomatoes as well. But the dish should then, strictly speaking, be known as Bacalao a la Riojana.

This recipe for Dried Cod Basque Style serves/makes: 4

The Dried Cod Basque Style Recipe adopted from the book North Atlantic Seafood.

Main Ingredient: Cod (more Cod recipes)
Preparation Method: Poached/Simmered (more Poached/Simmered recipes)
Cuisine: Spanish (more Spanish recipes)

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