Bacalhau à Elizabeth
Recipe Type: Main
Prep Time: 
Cook Time: 
Total Time: 
Serves: 12
A comforting dish of bacalhau smothered in mashed potatoes that is typical of a Brazilian holiday meal, served at Christmas, New Year's and on Good Friday.
  • 1.8 to 2kg of good quality bacalhau or salted cod
  • 10 cloves of garlic cut into slices
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) of good quality olive oil
  • 100g (1/2 cup) black olives, pits removed
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) of dry white wine
  • 150g (2/3 cup) mozzarella cheese cut into small cubes
  • 3.5kg (7 lbs) of potatoes
  • 125g (1/2 cup) of butter
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) of mayonnaise
  1. Let soak the pieces of bacalhau skin side up, changing the water three times during a period of 24 hours.
  2. Rinse the bacalhau and let in soak in milk for another 24 hours.
  3. Rinse the bacalhau again. Place it in a pan with water and just bring it to a boil. Shut it off. Do not let it boil. Drain off this water and reserve it. It can be use d to make the accompanying rice.
  4. Remove the skin from the bacalhau and any visible bones breaking it into smaller pieces, but not shredding it completely. Place the pieces in a large casserole dish.
  5. Meanwhile, make mashed potatoes by peeling and cooking the potatoes, then pureeing them with the milk and butter.
  6. Brown the garlic in olive oil. Layer the cooked garlic and all the olive oil over the bacalhau pieces.
  7. Remove the pits from the olives and layer them over the bacalhau.
  8. Pour the wine over the bacalhau.
  9. Mix the pieces of cheese into the mashed potatoes and spread them over the bacalhau.
  10. At this point the dish may be kept in the refrigerator for up to three days before serving.
  11. Spread a fine layer of mayonnaise over the mashed potatoes.
  12. Bake in an oven at medium heat until heated through and the top is golden.
  13. Serve with rice made from the reserved bacalhau water.
Recipe by Honest Cooking at