Dutch Croquette recipe for Christmas

A dutch croquette is a bread crumbed fried roll containing veal in a roux - a sort of like a white sauce. If you made these into little ball shapes then they are called Bitterballen.

It is one of the best foods to come out of Holland in my opinion. It is certainly my favourite Dutch snack food and each time I make it, I tweak it just a bit to make it more peppery and yummy.

Add a dash of mustard on top after it is fried and you are on your way to bliss.

It is quite simple to make but a little time consuming, mainly in the slow cooking of the veal and then the chilling of the ragout so that you can crumb it. You don't have to miss out whilst camping either as you can cook it in your camp oven too!

This recipe with my latest modification comes originally from my husband's Tante Gery, (Tante means Aunt in Dutch). it is thanks to her that we can enjoy this recipe every special occasion and any other time I want to dedicate some time to making it.

So let's get into it.

Croquette recipe


500g veal or beef
2 onions  peeled but left whole
1.5 litre beef stock
3 stock cubes
150g butter (7T)
300g plain flour
2T Maggi seasoning (or ketjap manis)
salt & pepper


Put meat, stock & whole onions in a saucepan and simmer for 3 hours. Discard the onions & reserve stock.
Chop the meat as fine as possible.

The veal diced as small as possible


Melt butter in the pan, stir in the flour and keep stirring for a few minutes on low heat.
Gradually add 1 litre of the reserved stock with crumbled beef cubes and keep stirring until the sauce is smooth and thick.

The Roux should be quite thick

Add meat & seasonings to taste to the roux. I add quite a bit of pepper, maybe about a tablespoon,  to get that little bite.
Add Roux to the meat
 Cool the meat mix by placing in the fridge for a while.

The veal mixture
 When cool pipe a 1.5 inch thick ‘sausage’onto cling film leaving a few inches of cling film at either side.

Pull the front edge of the cling film over the sausage so it is completely wrapped. Then twist the cling film at the sides of the sausage to make ‘handles’ and use them to roll the sausage across the remaining cling film (till it’s all wrapped round), then roll back and forth across the work surface to give the sausage a nice round shape.

Repeat from the beginning until all the filling is used up and put the sausages in the freezer until nearly hard.

Whilst this is chilling, crack open a couple of eggs and whisk lightly with 2 tablespoons of water.

Remove the chilled sausages from the cling film and cut into 3-inch segments.

Then coat in egg mixture and then in then bread crumbs. Repeat with the egg & bread crumbs bit.

I like to make these ahead of the party and defrost them on the day of the party.

5 in a chinese take away container ready to freeze.

Cook in batches by frying in a deep-fryer, cmp oven or a heavy-based frying pan to 180o C using virgin olive oil so as to cook the rolls without buarning the crumbs. Probably about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain briefly on paper towels. You can transfer them to an oven to keep warm if desired. Traditionally served with mustard.

The proof is in the eating. Enjoy! I know I will!

What is your favourite snack food for Christmas?

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