Croquetas De Jamón Serrano

Croquetas De Jamón Serrano

Whether you’re eating Tapas or Pintxos, you’re likely to be offered some of these beauties. We’ve had them in Spain and even in several Pintxos bars in San Sebastien, the culinary home of Pintxos. 

My great friend Carlos made them for us and wow, just wow, they were the best I have ever had. While Carlos travels under a Spanish passport, he was born in the same hospital I was, on Mill Road in Cambridge! His parents are Spanish though, he studied at Uni in Spain and he knows a thing or two about Spanish food and wine, particularly the Galician region from where his family is from. 

So I asked for the recipe and it’s a Jose Pizarro recipe: https://www.redonline.co.uk/food/recipes/a522472/jose-pizarros-ham-croqueta/

I’m not claiming this as mine, just adjusting it so you know how to do it on the Big Green Egg.

Cooking surfaces

Wok

BBQ Temperature

200°C

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • small leek, diced as small as possible – 3mm pieces
  • 70 g Ibérico or other air-dried ham, diced very small
  • 60 g plain flour
  • 75 ml ham or vegetable stock
  • 325 ml whole milk
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 75 g plain flour
  • 2 large free-range eggs, beaten
  • 75 g dried breadcrumbs
  • olive oil, for frying

Equipment

  • EGGspander basket for the Large
  • Big Green Egg Wok

Method

To make the sauce

You could do this on your Big Green Egg but to be honest, it’s much easier to do it on the hob indoors. 

  1. In a sturdy pan, heat 4tbsp extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Once it is hot, add your diced leek and sauté until it softens, but don’t colour it.
  3. Now add your ham and fry for a minute further.
  4. Stir in the flour (60g) and stir occasionally. Cook it for about 5 minutes until it goes golden. 
  5. In a second pan combine the milk and stock and heat until it is hot, not boiling. 
  6. Add some freshly grated nutmeg.
  7. Now pouring a little of this liquid at a time into the flour mix, stir and allow your roux to form and thicken. 
  8. Once it’s all combined, cook for a further 10 minutes to thicken.
  9. Season with pepper and a little salt, the ham may have already made this quite salty.
  10. Smooth the roux into a 20cm x 30cm tray lined with baking parchment and pop into the fridge to cool for an hour. 

To form the croquetas

  1. Into three bowls, add the flour (75g), beaten eggs and breadcumbs.
  2. Take about 2 tbsp of the cooled roux and form either into a round or a sausage shape. 
  3. Dipped the formed roux into the flour to coat it, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs.
  4. Place each one on a parchment lined tray. 
  5. Repeat this making about 15 croquetas with the roux. 
  6. Pop these back into the fridge for 30 minutes. 

To cook

  1. Setup your Egg for a direct cook with the EGGspander basket and wok part filled with oil (4cm deep). 
  2. Set your Egg for about 140°C, this should mean your oil in the wok will reach 180°C, you can test this with a Thermapen
  3. In batches of 5, gently lower the croquetas into the oil and cook until they turn golden brown. 
  4. Using a slotted spoon remove them from the oil and place them onto a plate lined with kitchen towel. 
  5. Repeat for the other batches. 
  6. Serve warm but not straight from the wok as they will be dangerously hot. 

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