This three centuries old delicatessen is one of my favourite snacks (a tasty beef ragout in a crunchy dress).
This is an old traditional recipe but you can take a shortcut for the stock by using instant stock and vegetables seasoning cubes and boneless beef. This gives a good result to.
Ingredients for about 20 kroket’s
3.5kg beef (lower plate, short rib or other cheap parts), 3 celery stalks, 2 big carrots, 1 big onion, 1 garlic bulb, 1 leek, 1 fennel, 1 bunch of parsley, 5 bay leaves, ½ tbsp cloves, 1 tbsp black peppercorns, 4 sprigs of thyme, 2 nutmegs, 3 sprigs of rosemary, 2 tbsp course sea salt,
250gr butter, 250gr wheat flour, 2 tsp nutmeg powder 1 tsp cloves powder, salt and pepper,
2 cups of breadcrumbs (fine), 2 cups of breadcrumbs (medium), 5 to 6 eggs
Vegetable oil for deep frying
Rinse the vegetables under cold water and cut them in to chunks
Take a large cooking pan with cold water and add the vegetables, beef cuts, the spices and herbs for the stock (add the stems of the parsley but preserve the leaves for the ragout)
Bring the stock to the boiling point, lower the heat to have a slow boil (simmer)
3 hours of cooking should be enough to make the beef tender (falls off the bones)
Separate the beef from the stock and filter the stock (you can use the vegetables and some stock to serve as a soup).
We need about 2 litres of stock to make the ragout (add some water if needed).
Taste the stock and adjust with salt and pepper if you find it necessary.
Pull the beef from the bones and chop in to smaller bits.
Let the butter (250gr) melt on low heat in a clean pan, then add the wheat flour (250gr).
When the flour starts to bubble, let it bake from 3 to 4 minutes (stir continuous).
Add the stock little by little while stirring continuously until you obtain a thick ragout (like a mayonnaise).
Chop the parsley leaves and add to the ragout with the spices (2 tsp nutmeg powder 1 tsp cloves powder), add the beef and mix well, the consistency must be in between a mayonnaise and a paste by now.
Taste the ragout for a final adjustment with salt, pepper and spices, this is how your croquets going to taste in the end.
Transfer the ragout in to an oven plate, the layer must be about 3cm thick.
Cover with a plastic wrap so there is no air in between and place in your refrigerator.
The ragout has to cool down at least for 8 hours (keep over night)
The next morning prepare a working plan; one plate with the fine breadcrumbs, one with the battered eggs and a third one with the medium breadcrumbs.
Cut the ragout in parts; 3cm large by 10 to 12 cm long.
Give each part a round shape while rolling in the fine breadcrumbs and they are fully coated.
Coat them with the eggs and immediately coat them in the medium breadcrumbs.
You have to do this quickly so the ragout does not have the time to melt by the warm of your hands
Keep those you made in the refrigerator while making the others.
You can deep fry the croquets as soon as they are ready
I always wrap them and preserve them in the freezer; they can be deep fried frozen.
Frying your croquets;
Heat the oil up to 170° Celsius.
Unfrozen they need to fry about 5 minutes and for the frozen ones it’s about 7 to 8 minutes.
Serve with mustard!