Bacalao Biscayan style with potato dumplings (ñoquis)


For 4 persons

For the bacalao you will need:

  • 8 loins of best-quality bacalao
  • 500 ml olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 rounds of dried red chili

For the Biscayan sauce you will need:

  • 350 ml olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 kg onions
  • 1 leek
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 salad tomatoes, ripe
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 200 ml white wine
  • 100 ml cognac
  • 100 grs dried (day-old) bread
  • the pulp of 16 choricero peppers
  • 1 litre of bacalao/fish stock

(made from skins, trimmings and greens)

For the dumplings you will need:

  • 1.200 kgs of potatoes
  • 300 grs flour
  • 1 fresh egg
  • 5 grs salt
  • 5 grs (Royal) baking powder
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 1/2 teasp. nutmeg
  • 100 grs Parmesan, grated


The bacalao:

Let the dried red chili and the garlic cloves cut in half just barely simmer in the olive oil for approximately 1 hour.

Remove them and put in the bacalao loins, letting them simmer in the oil for 4 to 5 minutes, in two batches. Try to keep the oil at a low temperature, approximately 60°C (the bacalao should not be fried but rather simmered as for a preserve). Drain the loins, place on a dish and set aside.

The Biscayan sauce:

Barely simmer the sliced garlic in olive oil in a casserole until golden and remove. Add the minced onion and poach until about to turn golden.

Add the rest of the greens and simmer for 30 minutes.

Moisten the mix with the cognac and white wine, let the alcohol evaporate for a few minutes. Add the dried bread, the pulp of the chorichero peppers and half the bacalao stock. Continue to cook for 1 hour, keeping the heat low. When finished add the rest of the bacalao stock. Mix together, put into the food processor/blender and strain. Add salt to taste. Set aside.

The potato dumplings:

Cook the potatoes whole with skin on, peel them and purée in the food processor/blender.

On the work table, make a mound with the purée, the flour and the baking powder. In the centre put the egg, the pepper, the nutmeg, the salt and the grated cheese. Mix the ingredients thoroughly until you obtain a homogeneous mass. Let it repose for 30 minutes, then cut into suitable pieces and form into small rolls. Cook in boiling water with salt for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Finishing touches and presentation

Put the loins of bacalao into a casserole (preferably earthenware) and heat over a low fire for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time in order to prevent the bacalao from sticking to the bottom of the casserole.

Sauté the ñoquis/dumplings in a saucepan with olive oil and add the parsley.

Place the bacalao on a serving dish on top of the dumplings and cover with the sauce.