Bacalao a la Vizcaina

Bacalao a la Vizcaina

Before moving away from Barcelona, the sweet ladies on my team gave me a book of tapas recipes as a going away present. Naturally, the book is written in Spanish, so it takes a fair amount of translation work on my part to figure out the recipes. I don’t think I always get it right, but it usually comes together in the end.

The book isn’t dedicated solely to Catalan tapas; all of Spain is represented, and this Basque classic has been tempting me from its pages for weeks. It has been calling to me like a salty sea siren (not a sea wife, mind you – shout out to my fellow Game of Thrones fans!), luring me in like centuries of sailors before me, and I decided to embrace the salt cod.

Davis and I entertain pretty frequently, and I wanted to shake up our Sunday supper menu a bit. As a good party hostess, I sent out a message before dinner stating that we would be eating something that might not suit everyone. Fortunately for me, everyone was stoked at the outcome – even the fish averse asked for seconds.

I won’t lie though – this is a labor-intensive meal that takes some forethought. You have to soak the fish for at least 8 hours, and change the water fairly often to make sure it’s not too terribly salty. It’s worth the effort, but a 30 minute meal this is not.

 Bacalao a la Vizcaina

What you’ll need:

  • Salted Cod Fish – 1 lb
  • Red Potatoes – 4 large, diced
  • Spanish Onion – 1 large, diced
  • Eggs – 3, hard boiled
  • Capers – 2 tsp.
  • Garlic – 3 cloves
  • Pimento Stuffed Green Olives – 1/4 cups
  • Bay Leaves – 2
  • Canned Tomato Sauce or diluted Tomato Paste – 1 small can (8 oz/)
  • Olive oil – 1/2 cup
  • Water – 1/2 cup
  • White Wine – 1 cup


  1. Soak the salted cod in 16 oz. water, changing the water at least 3 times over 12 hours. Once the fish is good to go, drain and cut into small pieces.
  2. In a cast iron dutch oven layer half of each ingredient in the following order: potatoes, cod fish, tomato sauce, bay leaf, onions, hard-boiled eggs, capers, garlic, olives. Pour 1/2 of the water and white wine on top. Repeat with the remaining ingredients in the same order.
  3. Bring to a boil on the stovetop and then cover. Reduce heat to low (cast iron retains heat so it doesn’t need to be super hot on the stove) and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Serve warm, but this is great for leftovers.

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