June 16, 2024

Beefy Bitterballen with creamy mustard dip

Posted on April 4, 2018 by in beef

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Beefy Bitterballen

Beefy Bitterballen, something cold to drink, good company and you have yourselves a feast.

Beefy Bitterballen is the ultimate snack with drinks. Meaty, crunchy, gooey and most of all, deep-fried. Who can resist that? Bitterballen are delicious deep fried Dutch croquettes filled with cheese, crunchy on the outside and soft and gooey on the inside! Serve it hot, with some grainy mustard on the side!

What is the difference then between bitterballen and croquettes? Croquettes have a potato base and bitterballen are made with meat and a roux. In my opinion, there are a few key elements in making good bitterballen.

Beefy Bitterballen

The meat

The meat must be a good ragu, it can be veal, pork, beef or lamb. I suppose chicken can work, but the red meat is packed with flavor.

The Cheese

In the center of the bitterballen are nuggets of cheese. This can be Dutch Gouda, Emmenthaler, mozzarella or as in my case, Fairview Camembert Ripe & Ready. I know this is a bit cheeky to put a French cheese in a Dutch recipe, but if you want cheesy goodness, trust me on this one.

The Spices

Firstly, it is important that you layer the seasoning, the ragu must be good, the dusting flour and the crumbs. Then, nutmeg and white pepper is essential to me. Both underrated spices, but in the beefy bitterballen it just works.

Beefy Bitterballen

Beefy Bitterballen

makes 30


100 g butter butter
200 ml/ ¾ cup flour
500 ml/ 2 cups shredded cooked beef – I used leftover stew
750 ml /3 cups beef stock
1 small onion, chopped
¼cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 T olive oil
Salt to taste
5 ml white pepper
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
20 1 x 1 cm cubes Fairview Camembert Ripe & Ready

For the breading

2-3 eggs
500 ml/ 2 cups breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil for frying


Heat the olive oil in a pot and sauté the onions until translucent. Add the beef and the parsley and cook for a couple of minutes. Keep aside until needed.

Melt the butter in a small pot and add the flour slowly to make a roux.
Gradually add the stock. Whisk vigorously to avoid lumps, making sure the roux is absorbing the liquid. Stir constantly until it thickens.
Add the meat mixture and cook for a little longer until you have a very thick gravy. Stir in the salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Transfer the meat mixture to a bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours.
You can now roll the meat mix into 20 even-sized balls. Place a little block of cheese inside easy ball and make sure to cover it properly so the cheese does not leak out in the frying process.

Roll the bitterballen in the flour, then the egg wash and finally the breadcrumbs. Repeat the process with all the bitterballen.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes. In a small saucepan, heat enough oil to cover the balls.
Fry the bitterballen, a few at a time, unti l golden brown.Drain the bitterballen on kitchen toweling.

Creamy mustard dip

125 ml cream

2 T Dijon mustard

Mix the cream and the mustard and serve with bitterballen.

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