Legendary Dishes | Croquetas del Puchero (juicy meat croquettes)

SPAIN

Croquettes are among the most popular, traditional snack foods on the Iberian Peninsula, especially loved by the Andalusians who fill them with beef, cheese and potato, chicken, cod, mushrooms, mussels among other idiomatic food items and the special ingredient that makes them sublime.

This is a velouté, a sauce made with a puchero broth.

Another special ingredient is the breadcrumbs, which should come from a good quality loaf, that have been allowed to dry.

These are the meat croquettes with that Puchero flavour.

Velouté Sauce

  • 250 ml Puchero broth (see Puchero Gaditano)
  • 30 g white wheat flour
  • 30 g butter
  • 5 g green pepper / white pepper
  • Nutmeg, 5 gratings
  • Salt, very large pinch

Heat a heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the butter, allow to melt, add flour and pepper, and stir with a wooden spoon to form a paste. Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Reduce heat and gradually add the broth. Stir constantly and thicken. Add the nutmeg, fold in. Leave to cool.

Filling

  • 300 g beef, chicken and ham meat cooked in Puchero broth, shredded
  • 200 g onion, chopped small
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed, chopped
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 15 g parsley, chopped
  • 5 g black pepper
  • 5 g salt

Coating

  • 90 g breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 25 g flour

Finish

  • Oil, for frying

Sauté the onions and garlic in the oil over a medium heat for 15 minutes until the onions take on some colour. Add the parsley and leave to cool.

Put the meat into a large bowl, season. When the onion-garlic mixture is cold, mix it by hand into the meat. Add the velouté sauce.

Prepare the breadcrumbs, egg and flour.

Using wet hands take a sufficient amount to hold easily in the palm of the hand, shape into croquettes, roll in flour, egg and breadcrumbs. Set aside and repeat the procedure until all the filling mixture is used up.

There should be around ten croquettes, about 65 grams each.

Place one centimetre of oil in a small frying pan, bring heat to 180ºC. Shallow-fry the croquettes until they are golden-brown on the outside, about three minutes.

Alternatively place on a non-stick tray, bake in the oven at 200ºC for 30 minutes, turning once after 15 minutes.

The croquettes should have a crisp crust and a juicy centre.