Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Dutch Beef Croquettes

Lately I’ve been looking for and making recipes from my childhood in New Zealand. One of the things we used to get from our local bakery were delicious, crunchy croquettes filled with a mystery meat (I didn’t have a very sophisticated palate back then). We’d polish off a couple of those then move onto simple puff pastry cookies topped with a shiny glaze of sugar and cinnamon. When I moved to Sydney, I found a stall called Dutchies Delight in Darling Harbour which sold those delicious meat croquettes! They were exactly like the ones from NZ and it turns out the mystery meat was beef. Sadly, on a recent visit, I found the stall had shut down due to reconstruction of the area - my only option was to now find the recipe and make them for myself.

I had bookmarked this page for ages and by chance found this recipe just last week when researching the food of New Orleans – it was a sign it was time to make these treats! Both recipes use a roux that is refrigerated then shaped into croquettes which sounds a bit daunting but it’s relatively easy if you’ve made white sauce or choux pastry before. Impressively, these turned out very close to what I remember. The other ingredient that gives these the flavour from my childhood memory is nutmeg – they give a nice lemony taste to the beef, so if you want authentic Dutch croquettes, don’t miss that out.

Dutch Beef Croquettes
Adapted from Recipes Wiki and Nola Cuisine

200 g inexpensive cut of beef (or veal shoulder, I used the cheap option)
400 ml beef stock
Bay leaf (or a bouquet garni)
30 g butter
30 g flour
Salt and pepper
2 eggs
100 g breadcrumbs
Canola oil
French mustard

1. In a pan, put meat, bay leaf and beef stock and slowly to the boil and simmer for about 1 hour until meat is tender. (Note - make sure the stock simmers slowly – mine was on a fast simmer and I ended up not having enough stock and was very salty as well - I topped up with water, which helped both problems!)
2. Shred the beef using two forks.
3. Strain off 200 ml stock into a measuring jug.
4. Melt the butter in a pan and stir in the flour.
5. Add the stock, while stirring, and continue stirring until the sauce is thick and smooth.
6. Leave the sauce to cook gently for about 2 minutes.
7. Stir in the meat and add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
8. Pour the ragout onto a flat plate and refrigerate until firm – either 3 hours or overnight.
9. In a deep plate beat the eggs with one tablespoon of water.
10. Shape the ragout into croquettes and roll in the breadcrumbs.
11. Then roll in the beaten eggs and breadcrumbs again.
12. Repeat until well coated.
13. Shallow fry in med-hot oiled until golden brown and crisp.
14. Drain on paper towel.
15. Serve warm with a serving of mustard next to it.

1 comment:

  1. I'll try this one. Surprise there is no onion in the recipe. I'll try both.