Brazilian style Cod Stew (Bacalhoada à Brasileira)

The Bacalhoada is a traditional portuguese dish prepared with salt cod, that is also popular in Brazil, with minor differences. There are many recipes with salt cod, but it can be difficult to find outside Brazil: if there are Portuguese stores in your city you should find it there.

Yield: 4-6 servings
Desalt the Cod: 24 hours
Total time:

Cod Stew Recipe

* 2 and 1/2 lb. (1.13 kg.) Salt Cod, which we will desalinate
* 2 and 1/2 lb. (1.13 kg.) potatoes, peeled and sliced
* 3 onions, cut into thin slices
* 1 green bell pepper, cored, cut into thin slices
* 1 red bell pepper, cored, cut into thin slices
* 1 yellow bell pepper, cored, cut into thin slices
* 4 hard boiled eggs, cut into thin slices
* 2 cup extra virgin olive oil, maybe more
* Black pepper to taste
* Black olives to decorate, pitted
* Fresh Parsley


1) The day before, the first step is to desalinate the cod, making it soak in water and leaving in in the refrigerator for 18 to 24 hours, and changing the water 3 times or more.

2) The next day, discard the water used to desalinate the cod. In a sufficiently large pot, place the cod and add fresh water, letting it precook for about 10 minutes. It is important to make sure the water has not evaporated, to prevent the cod sticking at the bottom of the pot. If necessary, gradually add more water while the cod is cooking.

3) We want our cod slices to remain whole and pre-cooked, because the cod will later be back in the oven, where it will finish cooking to be at its best. Once the cod is precooked, gently ladle the pieces out of the water and place on a cutting board for a few minutes where they will dry.

4) In a pot with boiling water, cook the potatoes, cut into thin slices, boiled in water until they are tender. In another pan, pour a little olive oil and fry the onions and peppers until they are golden, seasoning the mixture with pepper to taste.

The importance of cooking the potatoes and frying the onions and peppers in advance is to avoid them releasing water in the oven. They should never be used raw.

After, take a high walled pan where we will put our bacalhoada together as follows:

5) Preheat the oven to 300 ˚F (150 °C). Cover completely the bottom of the pan with baked potatoes, forming a "bed" and covering them with olive oil; add half the onions and fried peppers;

6) Slightly taste the cod: if you have desalinated it too much, you will have to sprinkle back some salt over this layer of cod, it should still be somewhat salty. Gently place the pieces of cod over the previous layer, careful not to break them up; add the remaining onions and fried peppers over the layer of cod covering everything with olive oil;

7) Now the last layer, place the hardboiled egg slices and the pitted black olives, pouring more olive oil until the level of oil reaches about half the height of the pan.

Put the pan in the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes; this will make all ingredients flavors mix and finish cooking the ingredients.

Once you remove the bacalhoada from the oven, sprinkle the parsley over the top layer and serve immediately.

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