Our love affair with Pho continues…
After making the “Pho Gras”, there was enough Oxtail left for making Croquettes.
Pho Oxtail is great for Croquettes. In a reversal of the Pho Gras recipe, we had to leave as much fat as possible on the meat, this would ensure that when the Croquettes were deep fried they would retain a moist interior.
We served them up on a clarified Pho Jelly.
The jelly, which is almost clear is “set” on to plates with a Rocket leaf.
This is a light jelly that has an intense flavour. It was clarified using egg whites that were gently whipped in to the cold stock before being brought to a simmer for a few hours. As the egg whites heat up, they become solid and rise to the top to form a “raft”.
The simmering stock pushes its way up through the raft, which collects all of the “debris”. After a while we are left with a clearer looking stock that still retains all of its flavour.
The cooked Pho Croquette is placed on top of the Jelly.
We open the Croquette before serving so that the customer can see all the lovely and succulent meat inside.
Our recipe for the croquettes is pretty simple. It all depends on the amount of meat that you have.
Along with chopped onions we use 10% of Flour and Butter to the weight of the meat and 60% of liquid, in our case, Pho stock.
Therefore a recipe could read as follows;
1000g Pho Oxtail Meat, shredded whilst warm, fat attached
½ a diced Onion
600ml of well seasoned Pho Stock (Broth)
You can also add some chopped herbs such as Mint and Chives.
For the coating we use, beaten egg, flour and bread crumbs or at times Panko.
In a large pan melt the butter and cook the onions without colouring, add the flour and mix well until a thick paste has formed. Slowly add the Pho Stock a little at a time, constantly stirring it in to the butter/flour paste, which is essentially a “Roux”.
You may not need all of the stock, so adding it in steps allows you to control the texture of the paste. If the mixture thickens quickly and becomes lumpy, keep cool and just keep adding some more stock and keep stirring.
What you are looking for is a thick paste, think about the inside texture of the finished croquette, that is what you want to achieve. If the paste becomes too “liquidy” for your liking, just add a little more flour.
Once the desired texture is achieved add the Oxtail meat and mix well and cook for about 10 minutes, always stirring. Taste it and if need be, season a little with salt.
Once cooked, remove the mixture from the pan and place it on to a tray lined with grease proof paper and allow to cool, then place in to the fridge until it hardens. This will make it easier to handle when making the balls.
When the mixture has cooled and become hard, shape in to balls or cylinders. It is good to work with the mixture in batches, taking some from the fridge, shaping them then returning them to the chiller before moving on to the next batch.
Don’t make them too big otherwise they will not cook properly, (you will end up with Croquettes that are likely cold on the inside and/or burnt on the outside).
Once all of the mixture has been shaped it is time for the coating.
On separate dishes have ready the flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs.
One by one, place a Croquette in to the flour to coat, then in to the beaten egg followed by the breadcrumbs. Make sure that the Croquette is completely covered by the coating otherwise the insides can leak out whilst cooking.
Once coated they must be returned to the chiller or can be frozen for use another day.
They will cook much better when they are cold, and will also keep their shape.
To cook, heat up oil to 180º and deep fry until golden brown, drain and let them rest of a few minutes before serving. Enjoy. 🙂 .
Talking about “resting”, the A-Team have been out and about.
We have started to fish during our spare time. 😆
There are many lakes near our town of Benalup, beaches and the Atlantic Ocean are also close by, so that gives us plenty of places to catch a “bite”.
What do we do with what we catch?
The small ones are released, however the meal-worthy ones are taken back to the house.
The meat is either made in to a “Goy” or “Larb”.
The bones and head are used in a Spicy Sour Soup, perfect for the cold evenings…. 😉 .