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Beef Cheek Croquetas

Beef Cheek Croquetas

Shortly before lockdown, Helena and I visited Mercado Central, a Spanish restaurant in Cambridge. One of the dishes we chose was Croquetas but with jamon and cheese. They were sublime. I’m not sure Helena would have picked them, she would normally avoid deep fried food but these won her over.

I thought I would have a crack at making some with some beef cheeks I had picked up from my local butcher, The Gog Farm Shop.

To make these I first cook the beef cheeks on the Egg for around 12 hours until they become fall apart tender. They’ll go through a stage of being like shoe leather, persevere, they’ll be worth it.

Alone as a croqueta, they are really rich, try them but you might want to run the beef through some dry mash (don’t use loads of butter). We all preferred the ones with mash.

When lockdown is over, we’ll be back to Mercado Central to have the ham versions and I’ll appreciate them even more for the wait.

Cooking surfaces

To cook the beef cheeks
Wok
Wok
Plate setter icon
For Frying
Wok

BBQ Temperature

Oil Temperature

Ingredients

For the beef cheeks

  • 2 beef cheeks
  • 350ml red wine
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Handful of fresh thyme
  • 300ml water
  • 1tsp dried chipotle chilli flakes

For the croquetas

  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • 100ml milk
  • 250g mash potato (optional)

 

Method

For the beef cheeks

  • Setup your Egg for an indirect cook at 110°C (ConvEGGtor feet up with the stainless grid on top).
  • Into a cast iron pan, chop a whole bulb of garlic in half (not a clove) and place in.
  • Peel and chop the onion into strips and put on the base of the pan.
  • Add the chipotle flakes, bay leaves and the thyme.
  • Place the beef cheeks on top.
  • Now add the tinned tomatoes, wine and water to the pan and place on the Egg.
  • Cook for 4 hours and then cover with foil or a lid.
  • Cook until the beef cheeks reach 95°C and fall apart, before this stage they will go through the texture of shoe leather, hang in there. My total cook time was almost 12 hours.
  • Break the beef cheeks apart and mix with the juices.
  • Allow to cool.

For the Croquetas

  • Get 3 bowls ready
    • One with flour
    • One with the milk and egg whisked together
    • One with the breadcrumbs
  • Either ball 100% beef or 50/50 beef and mashed potato and form into 5cm long by 3cm diameter tubes (approx).
  • Roll the tube in the plain flour to provide a light coating.
  • Now coat in the Egg/Milk mixture.
  • Now coat in breadcrumbs.
  • Place on a plate.
  • Repeat until you have made enough croquetas.
  • Setup your Egg with the wok 1/3 filled with vegetable oil and heated so the oil temp is 180°C. Your Egg will probably only need to be reading about 130-150°C as the wok is directly above a flame.
  • Lower in 5 croquetas at a time with a slotted spoon.
  • After 3 mins gently stir them.
  • Leave to cook until they are a golden colour.
  • Take them out of the wok and set down on kitchen towel to drain the oil.
  • Repeat until you have cooked all the croquetas.

I served mine with a dip made of mayo, horseraddish sauce, smoked paprika and lime.