Croquettes, you just don’t see them that much outside of tapas bars any more do you?
Maybe I’m just not eating or shopping in the right places but they seem to have fallen off the radar somewhat, so I’m bringing barrel-shaped, root-veg, sexy back (that really doesn’t work does it? Never mind, soldiering on!).
These were designed to go with the venison beerguignon recipe that I designed for the lovely people over at Borough Market instead of going for the ubiquitous mash.
The reason for this is I think it’s a good thing to have some texture contrast on a plate when you’re designing a dish and whilst I like a good heart-stopping, butter-laden, pile of mash as much as the next glutton, in this case I wanted a bit of crunch in proceedings.
However, I do think two of these bad boys could happily make a centrepiece of a meal in their own right, perhaps with a simple tomato sauce over the top and some steamed greens on the side.
Obviously if you’re a strict vegetarian then you’ll need to substitute the Gruyere with something similar, or you could make your own with this recipe here.
So, all of that said, here’s the recipe – I hope you enjoy!
Cheesy Garlicky Croquettes – makes 12
- Kitchen scissors
- Sharp knife
- Cutting board
- Large pan with lid
- Pestle & Mortar
- Baking sheet
- Potato masher, ricer, mouli
- Large mixing bowl
- Three shallow bowls (like pasta bowls)
- Wire rack
- Large frying pan
- 1 large celeriac
- 4 large potatoes
- 50g Gruyere
- Whole garlic bulb (look for ones that are a little purple and have tight skins)
- 8-10tbsps plain flour
- 3 eggs, beaten
- Panko breadcrumbs (I buy mine at Waitrose and use whole pack)
- Groundnut or rapeseed oil
- Heat oven to 180C, snip the top off your garlic clove, place on some foil, add a little olive oil (being a total food ponce I also added a little truffle oil), wrap your garlic cloves up and place in oven for about 45 minutes
- As your garlic is done (it’ll be nicely squidgy), take it out of the oven but leave it wrapped to stay warm (it’s easier to squidge out/pound to a paste when warm) and turn the oven right down to just on/warming temperature
- Place a large pan of salted water on to boil
- Peel your celeriac and cut into 2 inch chunks, put in boiling water for 8 minutes
- Peel & chop potatoes into similar sized chunks, add to pan with celeriac
- When everything is soft (about 10/12 minutes later) strain gently and leave in colander to drain as much as possible
- Once veg has drained and cooled, spread out on a baking sheet and pop in the oven for about an hour to really dry it out
- Whilst that is drying, squidge out and pound three of the garlic cloves with a big pinch of coarse sea salt (the rest of the bulb can be used in myriad dishes)
- Once veg is dried, and at a safe heat to handle, mash/rice/mouli (I have a ricer, it’s way better than a normal masher, can’t recommend it enough) into a large mixing bowl
- Using the fine part of the grater, grate in your Gruyere and add your garlic paste, then, using a fork, really whip up the mixture to make sure the cheese and the garlic are evenly distributed throughout the mash, if it’s too dry then you can add a little butter if you want, or use any excess oil from the garlic roasting
- Place mash in shallow bowl/dish and put in fridge for half an hour (or overnight), sit down with a beer, this is thirsty work!
- Once your mash is cooled, put your flour, eggs and breadcrumbs in three separate bowls
- Form your mash mix into 12 barrel shaped croquettes and then coat them in the flour, egg & breadcrumbs (don’t forget the ends!)
- Pop on a wire rack over a baking sheet and put back in fridge for half an hour to firm up
- Once they are firmed, put your oven on 180C and put a large frying pan on a medium heat, once it’s hot, put in about a centimetre of oil & bring to temperature
- Fry your croquettes in batches, making sure they are golden brown all over (again, don’t forget the ends) and then place on the baking tray and in the oven for 15-20 minutes so they get really hot in the middle
- Drain on paper towel to get rid of any excess oil and enjoy with either this recipe or something else, but most of all with a beer!