Croquettes are a typical Mediterranean dish. It consists of a delicious bechamel sauce to which we can add all kinds of ingredients. On this occasion, we are going to elaborate a very popular recipe: the croquettes of stew. And it is that they are the best way to take advantage of the leftovers of the meat of the stew.
Recipe for homemade stew croquettes
The croquettes, whatever you make them with, always start from a base which is the bechamel sauce. A cream made with butter, flour and milk. To this bechamel sauce we can then add all kinds of meat.
In this occasion, we are going to prepare our croquettes with the meat of the stew that we have left over. For it, we will chop it very well, and we will include it in the bechamel sauce.
Let it all cook together. The rest is simply to assemble the croquettes. To do this, we have to give them their characteristic shape, either with our hands or with two spoons. Then, coat them in egg and breadcrumbs. To finish frying them.
Recipe for stew croquettes
- 250 g leftover meat from the stew
- 75 g Flour
- 500 ml Milk
- 1 Tbsp Butter
- 1 Pinch Nutmeg
- 1 Pinch Pepper
- Salt (to taste)
For the breading
- 70 g Breadcrumbs
- 2 Eggs
We will begin by preparing the dough for the stew croquettes.
- We are going to begin chopping the meat very well (some people, once they have the croquettes dough, grind it all together, but I prefer that the pieces of meat are noticeable, but well chopped). Once chopped, set aside.
- In a large frying pan, we are going to pour a teaspoon of butter and let it melt.
- Once it has melted, lower the heat to medium and add the flour. Stir well so that it does not burn, and be very careful not to burn it.As soon as it starts to turn golden brown (if it is not well done, it will taste like raw flour), add the milk, which we have previously heated in the microwave. This way we avoid lumps.
- We are going to add the milk very slowly, little by little and always stirring while we pour it into the pan. From this point on, we will not stop stirring gently until we finish.
- Here it will begin to thicken. If you see that it is too thick add more milk (it is better to have to rectify milk than flour, because if you have to thicken now with flour, this will be raw when pouring it in the milk and not having toasted it in the pan, although I have to say that sometimes it has happened to me, and for a little bit of flour that you add later to correct it, there is no difference).Add salt, nutmeg and pepper. Taste it to check the flavor and if necessary, rectify.
- When you see that it begins to thicken, but still has about a minute left to thicken to your liking, add the meat of the stew, and continue stirring. This way, at the end it will cook with the meat and will release much more flavor over the bechamel.
- When it has the desired texture, turn the dough into a deep dish, without protruding, and let it cool. Cover with a kitchen towel, and once it is cold, put it in the refrigerator until the next day.
We are going to make the croquettes.
- The next day, when the dough has rested well, we will begin to assemble the croquettes. Prepare a deep dish with a couple of beaten eggs with a pinch of salt, and a flat dish with the breadcrumbs.
- To shape the croquettes: I make them with two spoons, I leave a video so you can see how. It seems a bit complicated but by the second croquette you have got the hang of it.
- As you shape them, dip them in the egg, so that they are well soaked, and then in the breadcrumbs to coat them in breadcrumbs. Once here you can freeze them or fry them.If you are going to fry them, put a frying pan with plenty of oil, and when it is very hot start frying them in batches. Until they are well browned.And now you have your stew meat croquettes ready!
For example, I make a lot of bechamel sauce. I divide it in two batches because I usually have a lot of meat left over, and with the pan full of bechamel sauce I can’t add the meat to mix it, so once I have made the bechamel sauce, I remove half of it, add half of the meat to the pan and cook it all together.
Then repeat with the other half of the bechamel sauce and the rest of the meat.
On the other hand, as I consider this dish a bit cumbersome to make, when I make it I like to make enough to keep in the freezer and have homemade croquettes for a while.
Besides, I like to make the bechamel sauce by eye, since it looks very good when it has the texture we are interested in.
NOTE 2: The milk for the bechamel add it warm, so you will avoid lumps.
NOTE 3: Once you have your croquettes ready, you can freeze them. To do this, put them in trays, leaving a small gap between them so that they do not stick. Cover with plastic wrap and put them in the freezer. When they are frozen, you can remove them from the trays and store them in freezer bags, so they will take up less space.
Tricks for your stew croquettes
I like to leave them with a clear béchamel sauce, because it makes them much juicier, even if it is a little difficult to coat them in batter.
You can toast the flour in oil or in butter, I prefer the second option.
If you want extra juicy croquettes
If you take the risk of leaving your béchamel lighter so that they are juicier, you have to take into account that shaping and battering them will be a more complicated job, although you will appreciate the difference considerably.
When frying them it is easier to break them, (since they are the clear bechamel, they will be softer) so I advise you to freeze them before, and fry them directly frozen, so you will avoid them to break and it will be much easier to cook them.
Although if it is the first time you make croquettes I advise you to make a normal bechamel sauce, with the right density. With practice, you will be able to try to make them juicier.
Let the dough rest for a few hours
To get spectacular homemade croquettes, the dough, before breading the croquettes, is left in the refrigerator, in a deep dish, and covered with a cloth, until the next day.
With this you will get the dough to settle and be able to shape them more easily. At least, this is the way my grandmother has made them all my life, and if a grandmother does it, it is better to imitate her.
If you liked the recipe, you can’t miss these spectacular Oxtail croquettes, full of flavor and very very creamy. And remember to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date with all our publications and leave us your comments.