Fricandó amb moixernons (Beef with wild mushrooms)
Fricandó is a rich and flavorful beef stew, made with moixerons, Catalan wild mushrooms. This dish is perhaps in the Top 10 classic Catalan dishes of all time. So sacred is Fricandó that there are very few variations on the recipe. Here’s a standard one for you to try at home:
* 2 lb beef rump roast, chuck roast, or skirt steak, cut in thick slices
* 1 cup flour
* salt and ground pepper
* 1/3 cup olive oil
* 2 each fresh oregano, thyme, and marjoram sprigs or 1 teaspoon each dried oregano, and marjoram
* 1 fresh rosemary sprig or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
* 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
* 2 tomatoes
* 3 cloves garlic, crushed
* 1 cup dry white wine
* 1 bay leaf
* 2 pinches of freshly grated nutmeg
* 1 oz bittersweet chocolate
* 2 oz dried wild mushrooms, soaked in water to cover overnight
* 3 cups beef stock
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Place the flour in a shallow bowl, season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Lightly dredge the beef slices on both sides in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess.
In a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or flameproof ceramic baking dish over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Working in batches if necessary, add the beef and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer the beef to a plate with a slotted spoon. Reserve the pot with the remaining oil.
Next, make a sofregit. If using fresh oregano, thyme, marjoram, and rosemary sprigs, tie them in a bundle with kitchen string and set aside. Return the pot to medium heat, add the onions, and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Cut the tomatoes in half and, using the large holes of a grater-shredder, grate the pulp directly into the pot. Discard the skins. Add the garlic. When the vegetables are cooked, after about 4 minutes, add the wine. Add the herb bundle or dried herbs and the bay leaf and nutmeg. Then grate the chocolate directly into the pot. Simmer over medium heat until the ingredients begin to form a sauce, about 5 minutes.
Drain the mushrooms in a sieve-lined with cheesecloth, reserving the liquid, and add to the pot. Return the beef to the pot with any juices. Add the stock and enough of the mushroom-shoaking liquid to cover the beef. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Reduce the heat to low, cover partially, and cook until the beef is thoroughly tender and the sauce is thick and concerntrated, about 1 hour. If using fresh herbs, remove and discard the herb bundle, and then discard the bay leaf. Transfer to a warmed serving dish or serve in the Dutch oven.
Wine pairing: Cims de Porrera 2000, DO Priorat