Nothing like a good traditional cachopo from Asturias, made with a good fillet of beef and stuffed with Iberian ham and a tasty cheese, which can be precisely one from the area, such as cabrales, or another sheep or semi-cured cheese.
In other words, the cachopo is a kind of schnitzel, but with a filling. It is a dish that reminds us a bit of its French cousin, cordon bleu.
HOW TO PREPARE ASTURIAN CACHOPO
When you go to buy the beef fillets to make the cachopo, tell your supplier that they will be used to prepare this dish. The idea is that I give you some nice long, clean steaks. I prefer that they be top, stifle or hip.
It is important that the fillets are fine, that they do not have traces of fiber and if possible, that the butcher cut them open, but without separating them completely, like a book or a butterfly.
How to make cachopo de Asturias, step by step
- 2 elongated beef fillets , about 300 grams per piece.
- 2 eggs
- 80 grams of slices of Iberian ham or Serrano ham.
- 80 grams of slices of cabrales cheese or another that melts easily.
- 75 grams of wheat flour
- 75 grams of breadcrumbs
- Vegetable oil
- Salt to taste
- Ground pepper
Ideally, the beef fillets are ready to start with. This means that they are clean, without fat, and that if they have any rest of the nerve, we cut it so that it does not affect the softness and flexibility of the meat. Leaving it there would imply that the meat could shrink while cooking, and we don’t want that for our delicious cachopo.
I also use to flatten the meat with the help of a mallet or rolling pin, so that it is softer and becomes thinner and longer. Before using the mallet or rolling pin, I place the fillets on a cutting board. There are cooks who also cover them with plastic wrap to make sure not to mistreat them.
With our veal fillets ready to be prepared, and open like a book, we will place the slices of ham on them. We will divide them between both steaks, and we will make sure to cover all meat.
Then, we will do the same with the cheese slices, but only on one side of each open fillet.
Finally, we will close the stuffed fillets, and we will secure them on the edge with the help of some toothpicks, so that they will not open while they cook.
TIPS TO PREPARE THE ASTURIAN CACHOPO RECIPE
If you want to give the cachopo a crunchier texture, do not use the breadcrumbs evenly, but combine one with a finer texture with another slightly thicker one.
Do not abuse the amount of flour you use for breading. Otherwise, the fillet coating may come off during cooking.
You can use other cheeses to prepare the cachopo, such as Havarti, Edam, Gouda or even young Manchego.
The most traditionalists use olive oil to prepare the cachopo. It is true that this type of oil will give a particular touch of flavor to the dish, but if you only have another type of oil at home, do not hesitate to use it, if it is an oil with a neutral flavor and suitable for frying, such as that of corn, canola or sunflower.
There are creative chefs who have identified certain points in the cachopo recipe, in which they can intervene to give this dish even more flavor. One of them is the preparation of breadcrumbs, which can be mixed with spices such as curry, pepper or different herbs. It can also be simply seasoned with a touch of garlic.
Another way to perfume the cachopo even more is by seasoning the beaten eggs with ingredients such as mustard, various spices or chopped parsley.
WITH WHAT TO ACCOMPANY A CACHOPO
From my point of view, the best possible accompaniment to a good cachopo is a hearty handful of homemade chips . If you don’t love the idea of fries, you can also serve some baked potatoes . Besides that, I like to accompany the cachopo with piquillo peppers.