Salt cod gently simmering

Salt cod gently simmering

Nostalgia can make you crave foods you ate as a child. I wrote recently about my mother’s canned corned beef hash and eggs, a super easy and decidedly non-gourmet meal that I remember fondly and hadn’t had in years. When I made it, it was still good. Read Momma’s corned beef hash and eggs.

My mother-in-law, Pat, was a child in Liverpool during World War II. Due to the German bombings, they went to Wales to ride out the war. There are a number of dishes she remembers as a child and has fond memories of. One, finn and haddie, we can’t find, yet. Marrowfat peas is another we are working on getting at a non-ridiculous price. Salt cod is one we have found in the US. You can find salt cod online and at specialty stores. Even in our relatively small city, Augusta, GA, there is an ethnic food store that has it.

It is simple to make and it tastes good, although definitely not in the gourmet category. Who cares? It is a tasty and filling meal. The main thing is soaking the salt cod in changes of water before you make the meal.

Pat’s salt cod

Place the salt cod in a bowl of water completely submerged. Put in the fridge overnight. The next day, pour out the water, replace it with

Salt cod served with Southern butter beans and bread butter buddies

Salt cod served with Southern butter beans and butties

fresh water and put back in the fridge. Note that the fish is already cured by the salt, like country ham, this is to just remove most of the salt. That evening, the fish is ready to cook. If you like more salt, cook it is the same water as the second soaking. If less salt, just use fresh water.

Put in a pan, again completely submerged by water, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer very gently for 15-20 minutes. Serve it with a big blob of butter.

We love Southern butter beans (lima beans), made with some ham or bacon, and served it with that, along with buttered bread. They would also be great with English peas of any type.

This is a really quick and easy meal that tastes remarkably good.


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5 Comments on Salt cod and memories of the past

  1. Clive says:

    If salt cod was eaten it must have been during the war. I grew up in the Liverpool area and post-war cod and chips was a staple in the chippies, but dried salted cod? Unheard of. I have eaten it, though in Nigeria where it is known as “stock fish”. It comes a poor second to fresh cod and chips in my opinion.

  2. Virgil says:

    My mum-in-law says you are daft πŸ™‚ She actually doesn’t remember if and when they stopped eating it, but she came to the states in 1953 or so and is going to ask her younger sister about it. She remembers it fondly as being good when they were starving after a long Sunday mass. In any case, I would definitely agree that fresh cod and chips is much better. We often make chips with the salt cod, too.

  3. Virgil says:

    Clive, didn’t know you were a Scouser!

  4. In pot large enough to hold brisket, combine 1 gallon of water with kosher salt, sugar, sodium nitrite (if using), garlic and 2 tablespoons pickling spice. Bring to a simmer, stirring until salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled.

  5. Clive says:

    1958 Liverpool: a cod was 10d and chips were 4d. Total, 14d. Equivalent in today’s terms to 6 new pence or about 10 US cents.

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