Pot bake or roast bake is a staple breakfast item in Trinidad & Tobago. This recipe rekindles fond memories of my mom making pot roast coconut bake. The filling of choice is the iconic smoke herring which is ubiquitous in breakfast shops across the country. Some people have an aversion to smoke herring because of the fine bones that are sometimes found in it but if you soak the fillets, it makes removal of the bones a cinch.
If you try this recipe for smoked herring and coconut bake be sure to post a photo and tag us on social media.
2 cups flour
1 tbsp dry instant yeast
½ – ¾ cup grated coconut
½ cup vegetable shortening
½ tsp salt
½ tbsp sugar
¼ cup coconut milk
¼ Tsp freshly grated nutmeg or cinnamon
Combine your dry ingredients and ensure fully incorporated.
Add your vegetable shortening, if cold – melt in the microwave to bring to room temperature.
Gradually add the coconut milk and work the dough until it forms into a ball. If your mixture is too sticky add a bit more flour as you bring it together, if its too dry add some water.
Transfer dough onto a floured surface and knead for approx. 5 minutes or until smooth
Shape into a ball and cover with a damp kitchen towel or transfer to a bowl and let rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
After 45 minutes punch the air out of the dough and knead again for 2 minutes
Lightly oil a medium sized pot and put on a very low flame.
Form your dough into the shape of the pot you are using and gently lay the dough in the pot and cover for about 10 mins. The steam would help cook the dough.
Check in 10 mins and using a toothpick, poke in the middle of the bake to check for doneness.
Lightly oil the top of the back and flip. Raise the heat slightly and cover.
Uncover in 5- 7 minutes – it should smell very fragrant, and poke all areas of the bake to ensure its cooked.
Turn off heat and let cool for 2 minutes before slicing in. Enjoy
½ lb smoked herring fillets
3 tbsp chopped scallions
3 medium tomatoes (diced)
3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
1 medium onion (sliced thinly)
2 pimento peppers (minced)
3 tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp black pepper
½ tsp scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
Place herring into a bowl and add just enough boiling water to cover it. Let sit for 30 mins – this will rehydrate the fish, remove excess oil and salt and also soften it so you can easily remove the fine bones
Drain the water and remove the bones as best as you can – you won’t be able to remove all and that’s ok.
In a clean bowl, break the fish into smaller pieces with your fingertips and when completed, squeeze the lime over it, omitting the seeds.
Add onion, pimentos, tomatoes, garlic, chives/scallions, black pepper and mix well. It will not need salt as the salt from the fish would be enough to season the veggies.
In a small sauté pan, add the olive oil in and heat until it begins to lightly smoke. Remove from heat and immediately pour hot oil over the smoked herring mixture. It should make a sizzling noise.
Begin to toss and mix ingredients to incorporate all aromatics with herrings. Season with black pepper and taste.
For added kick, add scotch bonnet pepper and toss.