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Croquetas de sobrasada

Croquetas de sobrasada

PT1H

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The first time I visited Ibiza was in my early twenties with a big group of friends. We sunbathed, drank and danced til dawn, as befits a trip to one of the clubbing capitals of the world. But a girl can’t survive on sangria alone and after a few non-stop days we decided to explore the local food scene. Platters of exquisite fresh fish, cured meats and everyone’s favourite finger food – tapas – later, it’s then that Ibiza truly came alive for me.

On an island like Ibiza, the proliferation of delicious fish is to be expected, but they also specialize in delicious cured meats. Perhaps less well known than the Spanish exports of chorizo and morcilla, sobrasada is a traditional raw cured sausage made from black Balearic pigs. Smooth, spreadable and slightly spicy, it’s delicious spread on bread, but also makes for a delicious salty foil to the creamy béchamel sauce in a classic croqueta. You can find sobrasada in the cured meat aisle in major supermarkets, specialist Spanish delis or online.

These croquetas are the perfect showcase for sobrasada, a crisp, light crust breaking open to reveal a creamy, rich, red middle. I like them dipped in an eggless garlic aioli, and a cold glass of sherry wouldn’t go amiss. Serve these croquetas as a dinner party starter or as part of a tapas platter, with Spanish olives, cheese and padron peppers.

Ingredients

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  • Croquetas de sobrasada

  • 125g of sobrasada, (weight without skin), at room temperature
  • 60g of unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 100g of plain flour, divided into 2
  • 500ml of whole milk
  • parsley, 1 small handful, finely chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 150g of breadcrumbs
  • 25g of manchego cheese, (or other hard cheese), finely grated
  • 1l vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
  • black pepper
  • aioli, or mayonnaise, for dipping (optional)
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Method

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1
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the oil. Add the onion and cook over a low heat until soft, for about 5 minutes. Add half of the flour (75g) and cook out the raw flavour, stirring regularly for 2 minutes
2
Switch to a whisk and gradually add the milk, whisking regularly until you have a smooth, thick béchamel sauce. Switch back to a wooden spoon or spatula and stir in the sobrasada. Continue to cook until the mixture has the texture of mashed potato and pulls away from the sides of the pan, for 2–3 minutes more
3
Stir in the parsley, salt and black pepper then transfer to a shallow container and cover with a piece of cling film to prevent a skin forming. Allow to cool to room temperature then chill for a minimum of 2 hours, or overnight
4
Once the béchamel has chilled, lightly beat the eggs in a shallow bowl. Add add the breadcrumbs and grated cheese to a second bowl, stirring to combine. Line a tray with parchment paper
5
Dust your hands with some of the remaining flour and scoop out a heaped tablespoon of the firm béchamel. Roll into a ball then dip into the egg followed by the breadcrumbs
6
Transfer to your prepared tray, then repeat until all the mixture is dipped and rolled, continuing to dust your hands and the balls with flour to prevent sticking. Chill for 20 minutes
7
Preheat the oil in a deep-fryer or large, deep saucepan until it reaches 175°C. Line a tray with kitchen roll
8
Fry the balls of mixture in batches of no more than 5 at a time until crisp and golden, about 2 minutes. Remove to the tray using a slotted spoon, sprinkle with a little sea salt then serve immediately with aioli or mayonnaise for dipping, if you like
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Croquetas de sobrasada

 
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