Fricandó
Fricandó

The gastronomy of Catalonia is characterized by many things, especially by knowing how to incorporate local ingredients and those from other gastronomic cultures. In this way, Catalan cuisine has evolved into hundreds of dishes with very particular flavors and aromas that many people love.

When visiting Catalonia, it is easy to notice that there is a preference for mountain and garden products, as many of its dishes use these elements as a base. However, Catalan creativity comes to the fore to create simple words with incredible flavor. This is the case of fricandó, a traditional recipe passed from generation to generation, in which veal and spring mushrooms are used to obtain an exquisite result.

This meat stew has greatly changed from the French "fricandeau," but it is still one of the region's signature dishes. Unlike many recipes of Spanish cuisine with a humble and peasant origin, fricandeau was a dish exclusive to the upper class for a long time.

As fresh mushrooms were needed to prepare it traditionally, the dish was usually reserved for eating in certain seasons. However, as it has gained popularity over time, many have preferred to vary the preparation by using dried mushrooms to enjoy fricandó at any time of the year.

Below you will learn how to make this delicious recipe to surprise guests with a warm stew with intense flavors.

How to prepare fricandó?

The most important thing is to have a good deal and decide what type of mushroom to use. The two most commonly used options are senderuelas and perretxicos. Also, the mushrooms may be fresh or dried depending on the season. Don't worry; here, we will show you how to make the recipe with both types.

Ingredients: (For approximately 4 people)

  • 500 grams of veal fillets
  • 50 grams of fresh/dried mushrooms of choice
  • 3 ripe tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 150 ml white wine
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Flour for breading
  • Water

Preparation:

  1. If you have chosen dried mushrooms, clean them carefully and let them soak for half an hour to soften them. Then, set aside.
  2. If you have chosen fresh mushrooms for the recipe, clean them and set aside.
  3. Dredge each veal fillet about 1 cm thick in flour while heating olive oil over high heat in a large pan.
  4. When the oil has reached the temperature, brown the fillets on both sides, do not let them fry; they only have to seal. Remove and set aside.
  5. Using the same pan, sauté the diced onion and garlic over medium heat.
  6. When the onion softens, add the peeled and grated tomatoes. Let everything cook for about 15 minutes.
  7. After 15 minutes, you will notice a change in the sauce, which will be super soft. At this point, you will have to add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes.
  8. Add the veal steaks and white wine to cook for another 5 minutes, the time needed to evaporate the alcohol. Add 2 glasses of water, the bay leaf, and salt to taste.
  9. Lower the heat and cook at a gentle temperature for 1 hour. The sauce will have to reduce a little.
  10. Turn off the heat and let the stew rest for a while. Serve with a garnish of your choice, preferably potatoes or white rice. Enjoy!

Tips:

  • As is the case with most stews, many people say that fricassee tastes best the day after it is prepared, as it absorbs all the flavors of the spices overnight. Therefore, reserve it in an airtight container and enjoy the recipe the next day.
  • Some say that warm water is the best way to hydrate dried mushrooms, as this enhances the flavor and aroma. Do it this way if you prepare the recipe with dried mushrooms.
  • It is possible to garnish nuts such as almonds or toasted pine nuts. These add more texture to the dish and complement the flavor of the fricandó very well.
  • It is possible to grind the sofrito to have a more homogeneous mixture, but this only depends on each person's taste.

Fricandó is not only prepared with veal, so we invite you to experiment with other meat products. Some say that with this preparation, you can enjoy delicious meatballs. So don't be afraid and dare to vary the recipe.

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