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How to Make Dutch Kroketten (Croquettes): A Beef Recipe that can be Frozen
A Dutch Tradition
Christmas is a time for celebration. Families and friends come together enjoying food and drink and often over endulging in both. Food preparation is often done in advance of company arriving sometimes weeks before. Why not combine the sometimes arduous food preparation with special time with friends and or family while preparing a delicious treat to be enjoyed well into the holiday season.
My husband's parents are both Dutch by birth. My father is Dutch but I have an English born mother. She made a few Dutch traditional dishes but not this particular delicacy. I had tasted croquettes prepared by my husband's mother, my children's Oma. However, it was not until we were befriended by a Dutch couple whose girls went to school with our boys, that we partook in the tradition of croquette-making. It is an adventure best experienced by very good friends as the process takes three days of which two are best completed in a larger group. The three day ordeal of creation however is well worth the final product. Croquettes are extremely tasty deep-fried balls of meat that make excellent orderves. So, call your best friends and once you have cleared a three day period, break out the wine and have the following instructions handy to create this tasty Dutch tradition!
Ingredients and Materials List
- 4 lbs of roast cut into cubes
- 1lb of butter
- 2 large onions
- white flour
- 3 300 g canisters of bread crumbs
- 3 packages of rusks
- 3 eggs
- bay leaf
- white pepper
- Maggi liquid seasoning (found in specialty food stores or your local Dutch grocer)
- 12 Knorr Beef Bullion cubes
- very large pot
- 2 large, deep metal pans or various containers to hold completed croquettes
- 3 containers for holding egg mixture, flour mixture and rusk/bread crumb mixture
- freezer containers
Day 1: Preparing the Beef and Broth
- Put cubed roast into a large pot. Make up 8 cups of very strong beef broth. I use 6 cubes per 4 cups of water to start. Boil the cubes of roast in the beef broth for at least four hours adding more broth as necessary. Add the bay leaf and salt and white pepper to the meat as it boils. Skim off the foam and fat until no more appears. After 4 hours you should have at least 10 cups of strong broth.
- Put the beef broth mixture in the fridge for several hours. When cool, skim off the fat and separate the beef from the broth.
- Using your fingers shred the cubes of beef. Return to the fridge to await Day 2.
Day 2: Preparing the Beef/Flour Mixture
- In a large, pot melt the butter. Cook the onions until they are translucent.
- Add beef stock one ladle at a time, heating each time until broth, onion, butter mixture boils lightly before adding the next ladle of broth. Repeat for 5 to 6 ladles of broth.
- Add flour in small amounts mixing well to avoid lumping. When the mixture develops a shine, add another ladle of broth. Mix well, add more flour and repeat until broth has been all used.
- Add white pepper, parsley and Maggi to taste mixing well.
- Add the shredded beef and mix well.
- Put the mixture in the refrigerator overnight.
Note: This part of the preparation requires strong arm strength. Prepare to get a great workout for flabby arms!!!!
Day 3: Assembly Line Croquettes
- Take out the meat/flour mixture 3 or 4 hours before you plan on assembling the croquettes. You want the mixture pliable enough to be shaped into balls or logs.
- In one pan, crack 3 or 4 eggs and whisk them well.
- In a second pan, sift three cups of flour. It will accumulate lumps from egg dipped croquettes so start with less so lumps can be screened out. More flour can be sifted in as required.
- In a third pan, place one container of bread crumbs mixed with one package of finely crushed rusks. The rusk/bread crumb mixture reduce the chance of burning the croquettes once deep fried.
- Now the fun part begins. An assembly line of workers works best at this point as each person completes one job: person one creates the meat balls or logs;
- person two rolls the dipped ball into the flour;
- person three dips the floured meatball into the whisked egg;
- person four then rolls the ball into the bread crumb mixture.
- The balls or logs are then placed onto a tray to await deep frying or freezing. The can be frozen for up to 6 month but it is doubtful they will last that long.
Don't forget to keep the wine glasses filled for this part of the process!!
Preparing for Maximum Eating Pleasure!
Croquettes are best prepared in a deep fryer although I have prepared them in hot oil in a deep frying pan. Using a deep fryer, set the temperature to 350°F. When the fryer has reached the desired temperature, place the frozen croquettes in the fryer basket and fry for 5 minutes. Serve with gravy, or your favorite mustard for dipping. Enjoy with friends and your favorite glass of wine for a perfect Christmas or anytime treat!