This tried and true recipe has been a staple in Newfoundland and Labradorean’s diets for centuries. Traditionally a combination of salted cod fish, hard bread, onions and scrunchions, it’s a unique treat enjoyed by so many.
If you have the fish and brewis with the scrunchions on top or placed on the side of your plate, its called fish and brewis when mixed all together like I have shown in the video tutorial its called fishermans brewis.
Please note that when you mix it all together the scruncions loose some of the crispiness.
I would imagine most Newfoundland families would have served this on Fridays and if it wasn’t fish and brewis it was sure to be some type of fish dish or even just fish and potatoes.
In this post, I am going to include a video tutorial in order to show you how to make this very special dish. These days we enjoy it most times on Christmas Eve or Good Friday; though serve this dish any day of the week and it will be sure to please your family and loved ones.
The night before you are ready to prepare you will need to soak your cod fish in cold water. I just cut my cod in large pieces and put cold tap water enough to cover the fish.
You will also need to do the same with your hard bread a good rule of thumb is one piece of hard bread per person. I’m using Purity Hard Bread. The only hard bread I know of. You can find it here:
It looks like this:
This is what the hard bread looks like in the water
I am using salt cod in this tried and true recipe, but you can use fresh cod or any other type of white fish just be sure if you are using fresh to salt a little more.
My husband caught the beautiful fish we are using in the video off the Baccalieu in Newfoundland. It has some of the best fish in the entire world. Seriously!
I had the opportunity to tour the Baccalieu this past summer. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget. The beauty of this island is truly breath taking. I was so amazed in fact I wasn’t quite sure where to turn.
Everywhere we looked there were puffins and whales and all kinds of other birds, jelly fish, cod fish; someone even caught a baby shark. To say I was amazed is an understatement.
Check this out.. I almost had him! So sad when he got away. We ended up catching more.
So in order to Make this tried and true recipe you will need:
- 1.5-2 lbs salted cod or any type of white fish
- 5 pieces of Purity hard bread ( more or less depending on the amount of people your feeding
- Fat Back Pork
- 1-2 onions
The night before you are planning to prepare the fish and brewis. Cut your fish in large pieces and add enough cold water just to cover the top. If you are using fresh fish you can omit this step.
Also the night before take about 5 pieces of the hard bread and place them in a seperate pot with enough cold water to cover.
In the morning your bread will look something like this:
As you can see it soaks up pretty much all the water and expands quite a bit in size.
Take your pot of fish and discard the water from the night before. It will be way too salty to use as is. Bring your fish to a boil and boil only for a few minutes 5 Max. Cool slightly such that you don’t burn your fingers and pick apart all the bones and skin.
Its important to just use the fish as you don’t want anybody choking on bones and the like. When you have your fish deboned set aside and fry your fat back pork until they are a nice light golden brown. I like to remove them at this point and sauté my onion in the grease from the Fat Pork.
You have to be careful when frying as they burn easily and can smoke quite a bit when going past a nice golden color.
If you are unfamiliar with fat back pork it look like this:
When your onions are just about translucent put your pot of hard bread on the stove and bring it up to a point just before boiling; if there is no water left in your pot you can add a little more.
When its just about to boil turn off the heat, drain off any excess water and cover to keep warm. At this point you can add your scrunchions back to the pan with the onions and grease from the pork. This is what us Newfoundlanders call “The Gravy.”
Make sure your heat is very very low Don’t burn the onions and scrunchions while your working! Break apart the bread with a wooden spoon or a potato masher. You can leave it a little chunky. Add your fish to this and mix lightly.
If you want fish and brewis simply place the fish and brewis on the plate and top with the scrunchions and onions or place on the side. If you want fishermans brewis pour the onions scrunchions and all that grease aka gravy into the pot and mix it all together. This is how my husband prefers it.
Watch me make it here:
Here’s mine Fishemans Brewis! It was quite delish!
If you have difficulty finding the ingredients in your area I’m sure you can find them here or they will absolutely help point you in the right direction. As you can see they have an abundance of Newfoundland goodies.
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