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Home cured baccala with liquorice, tropea onion jam and charred lettuce

Serves: 4

Cooking time: 3 hours

Difficulty: Intermediate

Difficulty

For the cod:

  • 900g cod fillet, with skin
  • 70g coarse sea salt
  • 30g fine sea salt
  • 4 little gem hearts
For the marinade:
  • 500ml dry Prosecco
  • 100ml liquorice liquor
  • 3 liquorice sticks
  • 1/2 tsp liquorice powder
  • 25g clear honey
  • 1 red chilli, halved
For the tropea jam:
  • 1kg tropea red onion
  • 30ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 5g clear honey
  • 10g caster sugar
  • 5ml red vinegar
  • 20g cooked beetroot
  • Fine salt

Baccala was introduced to Italy by the Basques and quickly flourished, as each region adopted different signatures and expressions. This stunning recipe by Francesco Mazzei draws inspiration from the Venetian interpretation, where the cod is slow cooked with anchovies and onions, and is ideal as a showstopping central piece.

1. Remove any bones from the cod fillet,place in a shallow dish and cover it with a mixture of the two salt. Set aside for 45 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a shallow dish, mix together all the ingredients for the marinade.

3. Rinse the cod with cold water then pat dry and place in the marinade. Turn the fish several times to ensure it is well coated, then leave to marinate for about 2 hours.

4. In the meantime, peel the onions and slice them very thinly. In a saucepan heat the olive oil, add the onions, salt and let them braise on a low heat. When cooked add the sugar and honey and let it caramelise, then pour the vinegar, let it evaporate and remove from heat. Put in blender, add the beetroot and blend until very smooth.

5. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Drain the cod from the marinade and place in a roasting tin lined with baking paper. Bake for about 5 minutes until slightly pink in the middle, then place under a very hot grill for about 3 minutes to finish the cooking.

6. In a serving dish place the onion jam, the cod and the lettuce previously slightly burnt under the grill or with a blow torch.

Ingredients

For the cod:

  • 900g cod fillet, with skin
  • 70g coarse sea salt
  • 30g fine sea salt
  • 4 little gem hearts
For the marinade:
  • 500ml dry Prosecco
  • 100ml liquorice liquor
  • 3 liquorice sticks
  • 1/2 tsp liquorice powder
  • 25g clear honey
  • 1 red chilli, halved
For the tropea jam:
  • 1kg tropea red onion
  • 30ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 5g clear honey
  • 10g caster sugar
  • 5ml red vinegar
  • 20g cooked beetroot
  • Fine salt

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