Everything Newfoundland & Labrador with its Culture, Cuisine and Traditions

Cod au Gratin

One of Newfoundland’s classic recipes that we still consume today is “Cod au Gratin”. Back in the day, the original recipe consisted of; cod, butter, flour, milk, onion, bread-crumbs and salt & pepper to taste, the dish was garnished with bread-crumbs and baked.

As the story goes, one evening, a St. John’s hotel kitchen ran out of bread-crumbs and used grated cheese instead. It was an instant hit, people loved it and requested it ever since.

There are many variation of this dish, utilizing different cheeses, bread-crumbs, percentages of milk, cream, spices or a combination thereof.  One has to be very careful not to stray too much from the original recipe before the taste changes and becomes a different dish.

My recipe below, with the additional ingredients and an alternative method of cooking, enhances the taste, making the white sauce creamier (without cream) with a velvety consistency that stimulates the palette.  Give it a try; let me know how it turns out.

Newfoundland Recipes-Cod au Gratin 2-www.saltjunk.comMakes 4 servings


  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 lb fresh cod (cut in cubes)
  • 1 med onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 sm carrot (finely chopped)
  • 1 sm celery stalk (finely chopped)
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ cups 2 % milk (hot)
  • ½ cup fine breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup shredded old cheddar
  • Salt & pepper


Season cod and set aside.

In a skillet, low-med heat, cook onion, garlic, carrot and celery in butter until onion becomes translucent and soft. Add flour and stir to make a roux. Cook roux for 3-4 minutes (do not brown).

Pour in hot milk and whisk until mixture thickens. Season to taste. Add cubed cod and stir. Remove from heat and let fish mixture rest for 2 minutes.

Pour cod mixture in a casserole dish or individual dishes.  Sprinkle with bread-crumbs and shredded cheese. Bake at 375F for approx 20-25 minutes or until sauce starts to bubble and bread-crumbs and cheese browns.  Serve with your favourite vegetable.

caubeen – a cap or hat


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