Bacalhau a Bras… from Pingo Doce

My first Portuguese ready-meal!

My first Portuguese ready-meal!

Apologies in advance: this is a short review of a ready-meal. Yes, I know I am a food blogger, but I like to give a full account of our food-adventures since our move to Portugal and this lunch time I ended up with my first Portuguese ready-meal! Being very busy with work today I fancied a Bacalhau a Bras and my wife set off to get one from our favourite Tavira takeaway, O Tacho (read review here.) Unfortunately they had none left and I was so set on this choice of lunch that I ended up with a ready meal from Pingo Doce. Enough with the excuses, here is the review.

Bacalhau a Bras is a very popular Portuguese dish of shredded salt cod, served with shredded fried potatoes, onions and scrambled egg, usually with a few olives on the top. This has rapidly become one of my favourite comfort-food lunches.

The ready meal container came with two compartments – the left a pile of the potatoes, which are basically like very thin potato crisps / chips and the right a very nondescript pile of “other ingredients.” First impressions were not too favourable! I needed Google Translate to assist with the cooking instructions, which were basically to put it all in a frying pan with the potatoes on top, stir and cook for five minutes.

Impressions improved as the familiar fishy smell filled the kitchen and the

The finished product...

The finished product…

mixture started to look like a dish I recognised. I was slightly disappointed not to find any olives in the mixture – I suspect if my Portuguese were better I would have found the equivalent of “serving suggestion” written on the front on the pack somewhere.

So how was it? Taste-wise, it was pretty spot-on with the familiar Bacalhau a Bras flavour I know and love. Texture….not so good, perhaps I “stirred it wrong” but some of the potatoes were a little hard and not too pleasant.

In conclusion: based on my limited research, ready-meals in Portugal are much the same as those in England – functional, but overpriced and not really a patch on the real thing!

I have a recipe for proper home made Bacalhau a Bras that I look forward to making when I have more time – stay tuned for a write up in the near future…