Brandade of cod

Serves: 4

Brandade of cod

I salt my own cod, mainly because I can’t get hold of salt cod in this neck of the woods. It is very easy but you need to start preparing a couple of days in advance. The cod is salted for 24 hours and then soaked in water for 24 hours. For me this dish is the ultimate comfort food-just as good as a classic fish pie.


  • 175g coarse sea salt
  •   500g chunky cod loin, skinless
  •   500ml milk
  •   1 bay leaf
  •   ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
  •   3 sprigs thyme
  •   3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  •   650g potatoes e.g. Rooster
  •   3 large garlic cloves, peeled
  •   2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


  1.  Spread half the salt over the base of a glass or ceramic dish. Lay the cod on top and cover with the remaining salt. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for 24 hours.
  2. Rinse off all the salt under cold running water then leave the cod to soak in cold water for a further 24 hours, changing the water once or twice during this time.
  3.   Pour off the water and place the cod in a sauté pan. Pour in the milk and add the bay leaf, peppercorns and thyme. Slowly bring to the boil then turn the heat down and simmer for 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave for about 30 minutes to cool down. Lift out the cod and flake into a mixing bowl. Stir in the parsley. Pour the milk through a sieve and discard the herbs and peppercorns. Reserve the milk for the potatoes.
  4.   Boil the potatoes with the garlic cloves in lightly salted water for 12-15 minutes until cooked through. Drain well and mash. Beat in as much of the reserved milk as you need to make a sloppy purée. Stir in the flaked cod and olive oil and season with ground black pepper. Heat the oven to 180˚c, fan oven 160˚c, gas mark 4. Spoon the brandade into an ovenproof dish and bake in the hot oven for 15-20 minutes until golden. Serve with fried bread triangles and a green salad on the side.