Fish and seafood recipes

Biscay cod

Biscay cod


  • Easy
  • 120 minutes
  • For 4 people
  • 2.8 € / person
  • 290kcal per 100g.

How to make Biscay cod .

Of the traditional fish recipes throughout Spain, this dish will always be present.

It is one of the fixtures on the menus of all the houses and restaurants, where the protagonists are 2 authentic kings of its gastronomy: cod and chorizo ​​peppers .

We can say that this is one of the  most prepared Easter recipes in the north of Spain, where to accompany the classic vigil stew or delicious traditional French toast .

As in other recipes with cod , I recommend not skimping on its quality, since the success of the recipe lies in using a good product, both this Biscayan cod and pil pil cod are two classics where quality rules .

Buy a good leaf or salted cod loin from Iceland, Norway or Newfoundland, which are a safe value. The fish salting method is very old and is known to have been used in the Bronze Age, although large-scale commercialization began in Europe in the 15th century.

Its origin is based on the need for its conservation so that it reaches the interior territories.

This process, in addition to lengthening its consumption time, also ‘flavors’ the meat of the fish, which reaches a special texture once desalted.

This is one of the keys to the fact that the ‘bacalada’ is so appreciated and consumed in our country.

How we desalinate cod

  1. We cut the loin into pieces of ration, about 200 g., To facilitate the desalting process.
  2. We place the cod in a bowl-bowl and completely cover with water. If they are thick pieces, we will use 48 hours, with water changes every 6 hours.
  3. If they are small, they would be 36 hours of desalination, with water changes every 8 hours.
  4. During the desalting time, we will have the source with the fish in the refrigerator, so that it has a stable and constant temperature.
  5. If we leave it out we run the risk of suffering temperature changes and being damaged.

We hydrate the choriceros peppers

  1. We wash them and remove the tail and seeds (it is easier to do it dry).
  2. An hour before starting to cook, we will put them to soak in a saucepan with cold water. After time, we put the water until it begins to boil.
  3. We throw the water, add cold water again and repeat the process 2 more times (3 in total).
  4. In this way we remove bitterness. We remove its inner meat with a knife or spoon, and discard the skin. We reserve.

Preparation of the cod in Biscay

  1. Chop the onions into ‘brunoise’. In a flat casserole, pour a sheet of extra virgin olive oil and fry.
  2. When 5 minutes go by, add the finely chopped garlic and the slice of bread (better if it is hard bread), crumbled into small pieces. They will help us thicken and bind the sauce.
  3. When we see that the bread is golden brown, we add the bell peppers in strips and the meat of the choriceros peppers.
  4. Mix, braise for a couple of minutes and pour now the tomato sauce.
  5. The base of the sauce is ready. We add the fish stock to the casserole, mix, salt to taste and cook for 20 minutes over low heat. Occasionally we stir the sauce to prevent it from sticking to us.
  6. When 5 minutes of cooking remain, we put the cod. We remove it from the water and dry it well.
  7. We pass the portions through wheat flour and we mark them ’round and round’ in very hot oil, on both sides. We reserve.

Final presentation of the cod in Biscay

  1. The sauce in the casserole will already be quite reduced. We pass it through the mash (do not use the mixer) and return it to the casserole. If we want it finer we also go through a Chinese.
  2. We cook a couple of minutes so that it takes ‘body’. We test and rectify salt if necessary.
  3. We place the cod slices in it, skin side up, so that the sauce covers them or is flush.
  4. Let cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pieces of cod. The important thing is not to overstep and stay on point.
  5. A category dish, to enjoy accompanied by a good loaf of bread so as not to stop dipping in the Biscay sauce.

You can see all the photos of the step by step of the recipe for cod in Biscay  in this album, do not miss any detail and it will turn out like my mother’s.

Tips for a Biscuit Fillet of Yummy

  • With these tips I assure you that it will be delicious. Good raw material (if you are lucky enough to get Basque products, much better, chorizo ​​peppers are not easy to get), like all stews, a lot of love and patience because the dish takes time, but the result is worth it.
  • The most purist of Basque gastronomy say that the Biscayan sauce only contains onion and meat from chorizo ​​peppers. But we can also say that there are as many different recipes as there are Basque chefs, who have adapted this sauce to the taste of diners.
  • Important, don’t use too much oil to sauté the onions because that excess oil will end up in the sauce and will harm the flavor. And finally, do not use the mixer or you will get the color of the sauce.
  • The sauce that I have prepared today has some more ingredients, to give the sauce a greater flavor and texture. I was able to enjoy it at the home of some good friends from the Basque Country, with the recipe from her mother, who was also from her grandmother.
  • Chorizo ​​peppers are a variety of red pepper, which are dried in strings outdoors. Of them, only its interior meat is used, for which it will be necessary to hydrate them before cooking.
  • Its meat is like a paste of an intense dark red color, and it has a very characteristic flavor. In some places in Spain their use in the kitchen is not frequent, so it will also be difficult to find them in stores or markets.
  • In the last case, you can use ñoras , a more frequent type of dry pepper, although it has a sweeter flavor and less pulp inside.

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