Cod And Jamón Ibérico With Mandarin & Basil

This is a two-day recipe in which we use mandarin and basil to provide a refreshing cold sauce to cut across the flavours of salt cod and jamón ibérico. It takes two days because the salt cod must be soaked before cooking. The combination of salty cod and jamón, sharp and sour mandarin and aromatic basil is a match made in heaven. My recipe uses almost exclusively Catalan ingredients because I first made this dish in Barcelona, but there's nothing remotely Catalan about this recipe.


1 large piece of salt cod
150g jamón pata negra
2 mandarin oranges
1 sprig fresh basil
xantana, or similar commercial natural thickener

A lovely piece of bacallà, or Catalan salt codStart with your piece of salt cod (bacallà as it's known in Catalunya, or bacalhau as it is known across Portugal).

Soak the cod in cold water for at least 24 hours, changing the water every few hours. The result will be a succulent piece of cod with a delicate and pleasant saltiness.

Next, take your jamón ibérico. If you can afford a little extra on the price, definitely go for jamón pata negra de Bellota. This is regarded as the finest of all jamón ibérico because of the special acorn diet of the black foot pigs from which it's produced.

Lay the slices of jamón out onto a plastic sheet and trim up the edges. Place the cod on top and roll it up in the jamón. This forms a salty protection barrier from the heat of the oven and also help to keep the renewed moisture of the fish intact for the end result. Place the cod and ham roll onto a lightly greased tray and put into a pre-heated oven at 200ºC for about 20 mins until perfectly cooked.

Meanwhile, remove one segment of mandarin and set aside for garnish. Zest and juice the remaining mandarin segments into a pan. Heat slowly on the stove with stalks of basil, thereby infusing the flavour of the herb into the liquid.

Cool the infusion, remove the stalks, add some fresh basil leaves and blitz with a little xantana to thicken to the desired consistency.
Rolling the cod in the trimmed jamón

When the rolled cod is cooked, take it out of the oven and rest it for a few minutes before cutting the roll into thick slices, pouring the thick sauce over the meat and garnishing with a segment of mandarin and a basil leaf.

My dinner of bacallà and jamón pata negra with mandarina and albahaca