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.

8 thoughts on “Oma’s Beef Croquettes”

  1. I reckon everybody’s got a grandma recipe. Mine is my maternal grandmother’s pork meatballs, Norwegian-style, with a heavy spicing of ground ginger – I always feel like I have her peeking over my shoulder when I make them, berating me for making them too small or adjusting the spices. Food does that to people, I guess, since food works on those two senses we remember best: smell and taste.

  2. Hi Danno
    Your croquettes look great, I feel the same way when I eat chicken and dumplings based on my grandmother’s recipe. Out of curiosity, what do you use to do the deep frying? A frying pan with oil, or a consumer deep fryer?

  3. I miss my Oma now. All of her recipes were in her head, and she was loathe to let you write anything down, so you had to lurk, a safe distance, and remember everything you could. It is how I figured out her Sauerbraten and Dutch Baby. And everything that she fried was either in lard or bacon fat. It freaked my mom out!

  4. Excellent website- I wanted to say- The best thing about cooking “Oma’s recipe” or “GrandMa’s” recipe, or any of the other’s…. isn’t the taste or the smell (because we don’t use lard and they didn’t use sodium nitrite, that is in most pork products) but I think it is more likely the ‘Memory’ of the Special dishes that mean the most…

    We can cook them & talk with our helper while we are cooking, talk about the dish while we are serving them, Talk about Our Loved ones while we are eating them….Anything can become an instant ‘classic’ in your family if the love of a past loved one is remembered and cherished.

    That, to me is what is cool about an “Old family recipe”

    Mine is Creamed corn, but from grown field corn (not sweet but mostly grown as cattle feed. Cooked for us with added sugar)
    Cream Peas- (they called them ‘Texas Cream 40’, but I think they grew “Mississippi Cream” seed)

    Sorry to ramble, but the love of Family and Food is the strongest emotion to me, and I think our (displaced Webmaster) feels the same way.

    Come home Brother ! There is no work to make a living down here, but there are squirrels in the trees to eat !

    My 2 cents.

  5. Beautiful! Serve with hot mustard or dijonaise as an appy OR on a fresh lightly buttered bun for a delicious meal.

    To make “Bitterballen”, roll the cooled paste/meat mixture into loony-sized balls rather than oblongs. These smaller bites are easier to pass around as snacks and dip.

    Of course you can get creative and use chicken or pork or add minced onions, curry, etc.

    Bless Omas all over the world!
    Merry Christmas! (Gezellige Kerst!)

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