• 1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 cup boiling chicken broth or broth
  • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lb wild mushrooms, wiped clean with damp paper towels and chopped if large
  • Kosher or Sea Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lbs veal cutlets (1/3 to 1/4 inch thick)
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting the veal
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium-size carrot, finely diced
  • 6 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 medium-size tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/3 cup hazelnuts, lightly toasted
  • 1 tbsp grated bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish

Fricando de Vedella – Veal Fricando with Mushrooms & Hazelnuts

Fricando, veal cooked in a sauce fragrant with mushrooms, is Catalan home cooking at its finest. The Catalans have been making fricando since the 18th century, which is classically served with Spinach with raisins and pinenuts. One of my favorite Spanish recipes!

Preparation:

Place the dried porcini and the boiling stock in a small heatproof bowl and let soak until softened, for about 30 minutes. Drain the porcini in a small sieve lined with a coffee filter or cheesecloth, setting aside the soaking liquid. Chop the porcini and set aside.

Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they are lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Season the cooked mushrooms with salt and pepper to taste and set aside. Wipe out the skillet.

Season the veal generously with salt and pepper. Spread a thin layer of flour on a large plate and lightly dust the veal in the flour.

Add 2 tbsp olive oil to the skillet and heat over medium-high heat. While working in batches, cook the veal cutlets until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side, transferring the browned cutlets to a bowl.

When all the cutlets have been browned, add the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil and the onion, carrot, garlic, and the chopped porcini to the skillet. Cook until the vegetables are softened and lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the tomatoes, increase the heat to high, and cook until the tomatoes are slightly thickened and reduced, about 5 minutes.

Add the 1/2 cup wine and the reserved mushroom soaking liquid and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the skillet to dislodge the brown bits. Add the veal and turn to coat it with the sauce. Cover the skillet, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the sauce is rich tasting and the meat is extremely tender, about 40 to 45 minutes.

While the veal is cooking, make the picada: Place the hazelnuts in a mini food processor and coarsely grind them. Remove half of the hazelnuts from the food processor and set aside for garnish. Finely grind the remaining hazelnuts. Add the chocolate and the 2 tbsp parsley and pulse to combine.

When the veal is done, transfer the cutlets to a bowl and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Add the cooked mushrooms to the sauce and cook until warmed through, about 1 minute. If the sauce remains too thick, add more wine.

Stir the picada into the sauce and cook, stirring, over medium-low heat until the chocolate melts and the sauce is rich and flavorful, about 1 minute. Return the veal to the skillet, turn to coat it in the sauce, and cook until warmed through, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer the veal to a serving dish, pour the sauce on top, and sprinkle the reserved coarsely ground hazelnuts and the parsley over it.

Serves 6 to 8