The difference between bitterballen and kroketten is the shape and only the shape. These Dutch delicacies are delicious as a snack, light lunch or eaten whenever the craving takes hold of you. Homemade bitterballen/kroketten are a mission to make BUT it is worth every ounce of energy that goes into the making!
1kg beef shin (beef shank), bone in
3 onions, sliced into quarters
45ml beef stock powder
salt and pepper
10ml parsley, chopped
500ml panko/dried breadcrumbs
vegetable oil for frying
Place the beef shin (with the bone) and onions in a large saucepan and fill it with enough water to cover the meat. Add 10ml salt and bring to a low simmer.
Cook the meat for about 4 hours – it should literally fall from the bone. The shin benefits from being cooked low and slow in order to break down all the fibres and turn it into unctuous, gelatinous meat which in turn thickens the sauce in which it is cooked.
Take the meat from the saucepan and set aside.
Pour the broth through a fine sieve, season to taste with salt and pepper and then add the stock powder so that you have a salty broth.
Add the chopped parsley and set aside.
Pull the beef into very fine shreds and cut into small pieces necessary.
Now add the butter to a clean saucepan set over high heat.
Add the flour a little at a time while stirring constantly. Cook the mixture for 1 minute.
Pour the beef stock into the saucepan in a very thin stream, while whisking, JUST until you have a very thick sauce.
Take the sauce from the heat, stir in the meat and mix through.
Pour the mixture into a large roasting tin and allow it to cool.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Place the breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl and break the eggs in another. Whisk the egg together.
Shape about 80ml of the beef mixture into cylinder/round shapes, dredge each one in the breadcrumbs, egg and breadcrumbs again.
Fry the kroketten in 180℃ oil, until golden.
Serve with a good mustard.