Spain: Cod “Ajoarriero” Style



Ready In:

30 minutes + soaking time 

Good For:



About this Recipe

By: Sergio Fandos (via Literacy Pittsburgh)

Ajoarriero means mule drivers garlic, and was historically eaten in eateries and inns. Mule drivers who went to and from Bilbao and Saragossa would make dishes in this style because it was quick and easy to make.

Sergio Fandos moved from Pamplona, Spain to Pittsburgh in July 2007 to accompany his wife, Mercedes, as she pursued her dream of becoming a doctor in the U.S. For the past 18 months, Sergio has attended classes 8-10 hours a week at Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council’s Downtown Center. He is currently taking grammar and conversation classes to improve his English skills. This recipe was submitted via their cooking program!  

egypt on the map
  • 1 2/3 pounds cod, bone-in (more traditional) or boneless 1 pound potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 laurel leaf (optional)

While living in Pamplona, Ajoarriero was Ernest Hemingways favorite dish!

almonds placed on basbousa
coffee and basbousa


Step 1
Soak cod for at least 24 and as many as 48 hours, changing the water 3-4 times per day. (Normally, the cod is kept on the counter during the soaking process). Next, remove any skin and bones. Shred cod into small pieces. 
Step 2
Place cod and potatoes in a pot. Set aside. 
    Step 3
    Fry garlic in oil in a frying pan. When garlic begins to brown, add bell peppers, vinegar, and black pepper. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. 
      Step 4
      Pour garlic mixture over potatoes and cod. Cook over high heat for 20 minutes, stirring occassionally to prevent the cod from sticking to the pot.