Bacalhau com Natas is basically salted cod and cream pie, similar to English fish pie but without the mash and the only fish used is salted cod. Salted cod is nowadays available in specialist shops or international supermarkets.
The reason that portuguese people like myself use salted cod is because we can’t get fresh cod as it only lives in cold countries. Cod is probably the most popular fish in Portugal, we even eat it for Christmas dinner.
This is one of my favourite Portuguese dishes, it always reminds me of growing up in Portugal. Its also a really good hearty dish, perfect for winter nights.
Ingredients for the Salted Cod and Cream Pie:
- 2 good sized fillets of salted cod / a pack 400g.
- 6dl of milk
- 2 onions
- Splash of olive oil
- 2 tbsp of plain flour
- 500g of potatoes
- salt, pepper and nutmeg to season
- 200ml of cream
- 100g of grated cheese
Method for the Bacalhau com Natas:
- Soak the cod in a bowl of water overnight, changing the water a couple of times. This is to remove the excess salt on the cod.
- Boil the cod in a pan with the milk. When cooked, drain the cod (make sure you keep the milk as we are going to use it later). In a separate bowl pull apart the cod in small pieces / chunks. Use your hands here as its quicker.
- Preheat the oven to the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.
- Slice both onions in thin slices and fry them in a pan with a splash of olive oil.
- While the onions are frying, peel and cut your potatoes into small squares. Then fry these chunks in vegetable oil until they are golden brown.
- When the potatoes are fried, line a plate with kitchen towel and place the potatoes. This is to remove any excess oil they may have.
- When the onions are cooked, they should be a light yellow colour. Add the cod and fry for a few minutes.
- Sprinkle the 2 tbsp of plain flour, and add the milk used earlier to cook with the cod in the pan. Let the consistency thick a little by frying for around 3 minutes. Stir every now and again.
- Add the potatoes to the cod and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Place the mixture in an oven proof ceramic dish, add the cream and sprinkle the grated cheese on top.
- Place it all in the preheated oven and cook until the cheese has melted, or crispy and golden on top.
- Serve with a side salad and your all done!