A versatile savoury snack that is crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.
by Ena Scheerstra
Meat croquettes (kroketten) consist of a thick meat ragout rolled into a cylindrical form, covered in breadcrumbs, which are deep-fried. They are a much loved food in the Netherlands, for example as a lunch staple and as part of a snackbar takeaway, but almost no one makes them at home. For this post I did make them myself and was pleasantly surprised. It didn’t take that much time (most of it was waiting time) and the result was very delicious.
I served my delicious homemade croquettes in a typical Dutch way: the 12 o’clock (het twaalfuurtje). This is a dish often found on the lunch menu in lunchrooms and restaurants and consists of a slice of bread with butter, mustard and a croquette; a small ‘uitsmijter‘; a garnish of crudités or salad; and a small bowl of soup. Sometimes you also get juice or coffee. Two generously topped slices of bread, some salad and a bowl of soup is enough lunch for a hungry person. You can always choose if you like white or brown bread. The salad is usually potato, russian or beef, but making those is subject for a later post.
You can also use this recipe to make ‘bitterballen’, the only difference is to roll the ragout into small balls (about 4 cm in diameter) instead of cylinders. Bitterballen are served as a cocktail snack, accompanied by a small bowl of mustard to dip them in.
- 200 g beef/400 g beef with bone
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 stalk of celery
- ½ leek
- 2 sprigs of parsley
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 1 bay leave
- a small bit of mace
- 5 pepper corns, slightly crushed
- 1 tsp salt
- 35 g butter
- 35 g flour
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp cream
- ½ tbsp parsley, chopped
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 egg
- dried breadcrumbs
- oil for deepfrying
- Wash the vegetables, cut in large chunks.
- Place in a cooking pan together with the herbs and spices, lay the meat on top.
- Add water until just covered.
- Bring to the boil and leave to simmer until the meat is cooked and tender (depends on the cut of meat).
- Take the meat out, slice in cubes of 0,5 cm (discard any tough, sinewy or very fatty bits).
- Sieve the stock and set aside 200 ml. The rest will not be used. For a stronger flavour, reduce down the stock before measuring the 200 ml.
- Melt the butter in a sauce pot.
- Add the flour, mix well, and cook for about 1 minute.
- Add the measured stock gradually while stirring to form a smooth and thick sauce.
- Leave to cook on low heat for 2 minutes, then take off the heat.
- Add the lemon juice, cream, parsley and egg yolk, mix them through the sauce.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
- Add the cubes of meat, mix them through.
- Pour the sauce into a deep plate that you rinsed with water.
- Cover with cling film and leave to cool in the fridge (takes about an hour).
- Whisk the egg together with a little water in a deep plate. Pour the dried breadcrumbs on another plate.
- Slice the cooled croquette mix in 4 equal parts (8 if you want mini-croquettes).
- Place a part on top of the bread crumbs and form into a cylinder/croquette form (the breadcrumbs will prevent the mix from sticking).
- Place the croquette in the egg mixture, cover completely.
- Then place again on the breadcrumbs, cover completely with crumbs. Pat the croquette so that the breadcrumbs are attached well.
- Do the same with the other three portions.
- Heat the oil to 200C.
- Place a croquette (or more, depending on the size of your fryer) in the fryer and bake for about 2 minutes, or until the crust is brown.
- Serve immediately.