Classic Kalfskroketten (Dutch Veal Croquettes) Recipe

Febo kalfsvleeskroket
Kham Tran - www.khamtran.com / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0
  • 4 hrs
  • Prep: 60 mins,
  • Cook: 3 hrs
  • Yield: 30 croquettes (30 servings)
Ratings (10)

We've had so many requests for a good recipe for Dutch kalfskroketten over the years, but veal croquettes are not something we would generally make at home ourselves. Not because we don't love them, because we absolutely do, but because they're so ubiquitous in bars and cafes in the Netherlands. We usually enjoy them when we go out for a beer. So we were overjoyed to be given permission by the publishers of The New Dutch Cuisine to share noted Dutch chef Albert Kooy's recipe for traditional Dutch veal croquettes. It even comes with handy step-by-step photos. Now our readers who don't have easy access to this popular Dutch bar snack can easily make them at home, too.

Warning:  these delicacies can be deceptively hot inside, as many tongue-scorched victims who have fallen prey to their own gluttony can attest.

What You'll Need

  • 2 lb./1 kg veal (rose) 
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 stick/100 g butter 
  • 1 cup/120 g flour 
  • 2 shallots (chopped)
  • 1/2 qt./500 ml veal stock (from cooking the meat)
  • 1/2 qt./500 ml whole milk 
  • 5 leaves of sheet gelatin
  • Salt, pepper, and a little nutmeg, to taste
  • 1/2 bunch chives (chopped)
  • 1/2 bunch parsley (flat-leaf, chopped)
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup flour (for the breading)
  • 3 eggs (for the breading)
  • 4 cups fresh breadcrumbs (for the breading)
  • 3 cups oil (for deep frying)

How to Make It

  1. Place the veal in a pan with just enough water to cover the meat. Bring it to a simmer. Skim off the foam and add the onion, bay leaf and cloves. Let it simmer until the meat is tender. Strain the veal stock over a bowl (do not discard!) and allow the meat to cool. Cut the veal into small pieces.
  2. Make a roux (see how to make a roux) with the butter, flour and chopped shallots. Use the roux to make a salpicon by adding the stock and the milk. Let it simmer for a half hour, stirring thoroughly. 
  1. Dissolve the gelatin in cold water and add to the simmering salpicon, stirring regularly. Add the rest of the ingredients and the veal. Let the salpicon cool in the refrigerator.
  2. Roll croquettes from the salpicon and bread them twice. Deep-fry at 356 degrees F (180 degrees C). (See how to bread a croquette, a step-by-step guide that will lead you through this process in detail.)

Tips:

  • Salpicon refers to a preparation made of one or more ingredients that are minced or diced and bound with a sauce. A roux is a mixture of fat and flour that is cooked until bubbly.
  • Never heard of rose veal? It is pink veal, darker in color than pale white traditional veal. Arguably more ethical, this meat is produced using calves of up to 8 months old. The animals are given more room to move and raised on beef feed. Proponents of rose veal argue that it uses dairy calves, an unwanted by-product of the dairy industry, most of which are otherwise killed at birth.