Oma’s Beef Croquettes

From Nola Cuisine Images – (reedited)

For some time now I’ve been making my Oma’s Beef Croquettes for an appetizer on Christmas Day. They’re a bit of a process to make, but they’re well worth it, and it is a cathartic process for me. I don’t have her actual recipe, but I put this one together from an old Dutch cookbook that she had and from tips from my Mom and Aunt Paula (very soon to be Oma) who both learned to make them from her. Not to mention my Dad’s approval of authentic flavor (Dad’s an Opa now too).

When Oma was alive we went to her house every year on Christmas Day, and although I don’t ever remember her making these for Christmas, it is the dish I most remember her for so it has become a small way for me to keep her with us on Christmas day, along with my treasured artifacts from her Christmas decoration collection (you can see the candy canes hanging in one of the family pictures below).

From Family
From Family

When the croquettes go into the fryer the whole house takes on the smell that hers did when she used to make these, and it instantly takes me back, and every time I bite into one for the first time on a Christmas afternoon with my family, I have to admit, I get a little choked up thinking about her.

Merry Christmas Oma. We miss you. We love you.

From Family
From Family

Oma’s Beef Croquette Recipe Biefkroketten

4 Cups Shredded Beef (an inexpensive cut of beef simmered slowly in beef stock or broth until falling apart tender, then shredded using two forks)
3 Tbsp Butter
4 Tbsp Flour
2 Cups Beef Broth (reserved from cooking the beef)
1 Bay leaf
Nutmeg To Taste
Kosher salt to taste
2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
6 Egg whites
Fine Bread Crumbs

Melt the butter in a sauce pan, whisk in the flour and cook on medium to make a blond roux 5-7 minutes. Whisk in the stock or broth slowly until fully incorporated. Cook for about 7-10 minutes more to cook out the flour taste, remove from the heat. Remove the bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and freshly grated nutmeg. Add the shredded Beef. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Place the misture in the refrigerator until cold.

Shape into oblongs about 3″ long by 1 1/2″ wide.

Dip in the egg whites, then the bread Crumbs, then the egg whites then the bread crumbs.

Fry in 350 degree F Oil in batches, for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.