Beef Croquettes – Croquetes de Carne
The first time I made these beef croquetes was on a Christmas Eve with my Godmother who taught me this recipe.
She was very meticulous about which cut of beef to use in her recipe and would often shop at many grocery stores until she found that one special piece of beef!
The best beef to use is cooked, roast beef that has been cooled in the refrigerator since the meat will be firm and dry.
I would go to her house and help her cook the Rissois de Camarao and these Croquetes for many years.
My job was to to roll the beef mixture into egg shapes and then dip them into the egg and bread crumbs using the one hand wet, and one hand dry method.
My hands often got slapped because I would dip my wet hand into the bread crumbs making a mess.
I think of her every time I use that method now and I’m very careful not to get those bread crumbs into the egg!
Makes approximately 1-2 dozen
1 pound of cooked roasted beef or any leftover cooked beef (finely minced)
2 tablespoons of butter
4 tablespoons of flour
1/2 cup milk
3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
½ small onion (finely chopped)
¼ cup of chouriça sausage (finely minced) (optional)
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon parsley (finely minced)
1 tsp of salt
¼ teaspoon of paprika
Fresh ground black pepper
Flour for coating
1 or 2 cups fine bread crumbs for coating
Vegetable oil for frying
Saute the onion, garlic, and bay leaf in the butter in a medium skillet until translucent on medium low heat.
Add the flour and mix well until the flour is incorporated into the butter. Add the milk a little at a time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and thickened.
Add the beef, chouriça, and all remaining spices and cook for a few minutes. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
Remove the beef from heat and add 1 beaten egg a little at a time to temper it. Put the pan back on the stove and cook the mixture until it becomes thick and easy to form into balls or egg shapes.
Cool the mixture for a few minutes and shape into croquettes. If you find the mix too soft, add a little more flour and cook for a minute.
To thicken the mix, you can also refrigerate the beef for a few hours or until the next day.
When ready to fry, dip each croquettes in the remaining beaten egg and then into bread crumbs.
Fry the croquettes in medium high vegetable oil until golden brown.* The oil must be hot or the croquettes will fall apart.
Drain onto paper towels before placing them on the serving platter.
Photo credit: http://deliciasdiarias.wordpress.com/tag/croquete/