Salt Cod and Pork Scraps
SERVES 4–6; Photo at left Active: 1 hr. • Total: 13 hr.
African Nova Scotian teacher and artist Wendie Poitras recalls her mother making this simple potato hash often. This version uses small, red potatoes, but peeled, cubed russets can be substituted. The savory dish is flavored with salt cod and pork scraps—unsmoked, salted, fatty pork. The hash makes a thrifty, satisfying supper. Reheat any leftovers in a skillet and top with one or two fried eggs for a hearty breakfast. 1 lb. salt cod 4 small red or Yukon Gold potatoes (12 oz.), quartered ¼ lb. skinned salt pork, diced 2 large yellow onions (1½ lb.), sliced Freshly ground black pepper 1 One day before you plan to serve the dish, soak the salt cod: In a large bowl, add the cod and enough cold water to cover by 4 inches. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours, draining the cod completely and adding fresh water 3 times during the soaking to draw out the salt.
2 In a medium saucepan, add the drained cod (discard the soaking water) and enough fresh water to cover by 3 inches. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat to simmer. Cook until the fish is tender but not falling apart, 10–12 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cod to a small bowl and discard the cooking liquid.
3 Rinse out the pot, then add the potatoes and enough cold water to cover by 3 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat to simmer. Cook until the potatoes are tender, 6–8 minutes, then drain and discard the cooking liquid. Set the cooked potatoes aside.
4 In a large cast-iron skillet over high heat, add the pork. Cook until golden brown and crispy, 5–6 minutes. Add the onions and cook them in the pork fat until they are fully translucent and beginning to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and salt cod to the pan, flaking the fish gently but still leaving large, bite-size chunks as you stir to combine. Season with freshly ground black pepper and serve hot.