Fish and Brewis

Fish and Brewis is a favourite traditional dish from Newfoundland (my home province), it’s a dish that combines Fish, Potatoes, pork, Hardtack, onions, butter and salt.

What you need

  • 4 loaves hard bread
  • 2 lbs cod fish
  • 6 -8 potatoes
  • 1 cup salt pork (or pork belly), finely diced
  • 2 cups onions, diced
  • 1⁄4 cup butter
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup water
  • Hardtack:
    • 4 -5 cups flour
    • 2 cups water
    • 3 teaspoons salt

How to make it:

We’ll start with the hardtack as that has to be made first:

  1. Mix the flour, water and salt together, and make sure the mixture is fairly dry.
  2. Roll it out to about 1/2 inch thickness, and shape it into a rectangle.
  3. Cut it into 3×3 inch squares, and poke holes in both sides.
  4. Place on an un-greased cookie or baking sheet, and cook for 30 minutes per side at 375
  5. When it’s done, you’ll want to let it dry and harden for a few days, just out in the open. When it has the consistency of a brick, it’s fully cured. Then simply store it in an airtight container or bucket.

To prepare for eating, soak it in water or milk for about 15 minutes, and then fry in a buttered skillet. You can eat it with cheese, soup or just plain with a little salt added. Any way you do it, it’s delicious!

Now, let’s make the rest:

  1. Soak hardtack overnight in cold water
  2. Soak cod overnight in large pot of water as well.
  3. In the morning, drain cod water and soak with fresh water.
  4. Once you are ready to cook, place potatoes in the same pot as the cod and simmer gently until cooked
  5. Remove from heat and drain.
  6. Heat hardtack slowly until it comes to a boil and drain.
  7. There are two toppings with Fish and Brewis: Drawn butter and Scrunchins
  8. Drawn Butter:
    1. Melt butter
    2. Add onions and fry until soft
    3. Add Water, bring to a boil and then add flour to thicken.
  9. Scrunchins:
    1. Place salt pork (or pork belly) in frying pan.
    2. Heat over medium heat until grease is drawn from the salt pork.
    3. Add onions and then cook until tender.
  10. Serve and enjoy.