Christmas decorations in Hamilton and a definitive chill in the air can only mean one thing for cooks around the island: Pie Time. This old school Bermudian recipe has been in the Lightbourn family since the time Bermuda traded salt from the Turks Islands for Nova Scotia codfish. Miss Phyllis Casey, housekeeper and cook for the family for three generations, shared her recipe with J.C. Lightbourn’s son-in-law, Dick Butz, who shared his updated version with us.
1 sheet of premade pastry dough
1 ½ lb salt cod, soaked overnight in water, changed once
½ lb bacon, chopped
2 large onions, one shredded into strips and the other diced
1 beef stock cube
1 ½ cups water
1 ½ tsp corn-starch
1 large potato, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1 tsp Tabasco or other hot sauce or to taste
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce or to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Rinse the cod and put in water to cover in a pan.
- Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes until cooked and set aside.
- Wipe the pan and add the bacon, fry until translucent. Once cooked add the shredded onion and cook until softened.
- In a large pot dissolve the bouillon cube in a cup of water, in a small dish use the remaining water to create a paste with the corn-starch. Bring the beef broth to a boil, add the corn-starch and allow to thicken.
- Lower the heat slightly and add the potato, carrot and chopped onion. Season with Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Add the cod and bacon to the mix.
- Remove the filling from the heat and pour into a large, glass, oven-proof dish (or a large porcelain soufflé dish). Cover with the pastry dough and crimp the edges to the pan. Remember to make a small incision in the crust to allow steam to escape.
- Bake for around an hour at 375 degrees until golden.