If you love Spanish cuisine, you probably have tried croquetas de jamón ibérico, or ham croquettes, at some point.
These crispy bites of creamy bechamel sauce and cured ham are a staple in tapas bars and restaurants across Spain, and they are easy to make at home with a few ingredients and some patience. In this blog post, we will show you how to make the best croquetas de jamón ibérico in English, following the recipe of Dani García, a renowned Spanish chef with three Michelin stars.
– 700 ml of milk
– 300 ml of chicken or ham stock
– 200 g of Iberian ham, diced
– 110 g of all-purpose flour
– 50 g of butter
– 2 hard-boiled eggs
– Bread crumbs
– Vegetable oil
– Beaten egg
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and add the flour. Stir well and cook for about 8 minutes, until the mixture is golden and smooth. This is called a roux, and it will thicken the bechamel sauce.
2. Add half of the ham to the roux and stir to coat it well. Gradually add the stock, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Then add the milk in the same way, until you have a smooth and thick sauce.
3. Cook the sauce over medium-low heat for about 25 minutes, stirring frequently, until it bubbles and makes a sound when you move it with a spoon. Season with salt if needed, but be careful because the ham is already salty.
4. Chop the hard-boiled eggs finely and add them to the sauce along with the rest of the ham. Mix well and transfer the sauce to a greased baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight, until it is firm and cold.
5. Shape the sauce into small balls or cylinders with your hands or two spoons. Coat them with beaten egg and then with bread crumbs, shaking off any excess. You can freeze them at this point if you want to save them for later.
6. Heat enough oil in a deep-fryer or a large pot over high heat, until it reaches 180°C (356°F). Fry the croquettes in batches for about 2 minutes, turning them once, until they are golden and crisp. Drain them on paper towels and serve hot or warm.
Enjoy your croquetas de jamón ibérico with some bread, salad, or your favorite dipping sauce. They are perfect for appetizers, snacks, or even as a main course with some rice or potatoes. You will love their crunchy exterior and their creamy interior, full of flavor from the Iberian ham and the eggs. They are truly a Spanish delight!