When you make pulled pork on your smoker you always end up with leftovers. So it’s good to have some recipes up your sleeve to turn those leftovers into other dishes like these pulled pork croquettes in case pulled pork sandwiches are starting to get boring.
Combining pulled pork with croquettes was a no brainer!
A few year ago I made pulled pork spring rolls which turned out pretty darn tasty. As an answer to that Frits, my BBQ Partner in Crime and Sea Side Smokers team buddy, made pulled pork croquettes. An instant classic was born. Croquettes are one of the traditional fast foods here in the Netherlands, combining those with barbecued pulled pork was a no brainer in hind side but until then nobody came up with the idea.
Frits used the shrimp croquette recipe from Cees Holtkamp’s book De Banketbakker as a starting point. Cees Holtkamp is probably the most famous Dutch baker and his shrimp croquettes are legendary. In his book he covers all the Dutch classic pastries and also tells you how to make his croquettes. Years later mister Holtkamp gave me a call. He had seen the recipe on my blog and wanted to give some pointers on how to make our version even better! How cool is that? The recipe below is the result of Frits’ original adaption, my own personal taste and mister Holtkamp’s suggestions.
One of the tricks Holtkamp uses in his croquettes is gelatine. It’s used to firm up the white sauce so it’s easier to form the classic cylindrical shape. Once you pop your pulled pork croquettes into the deep fryer the gelatine looses its strength and the inside will be nice and soft, pretty clever huh!
In his original recipe Frits used chipotle stock cubes, since these are not readily available everywhere I replaced them by barbecue rub and chipotle tabasco. This way you still have spice and smokiness without having to source a hard to find ingredient.
Since this is essentially a baker’s recipe all the liquids are weighed instead of measured, that way you always end up with the same result.
Pulled Pork Croquettes
1 onion, finely chopped
10 grams unsalted butter
2 teaspoons barbecue rub (I used Big Bob Gibson’s)
550 milliliters water
1 beef stock cube
80 grams unsalted butter
100 grams all purpose flour
500 grams bouillon (made from the ingredients above)
6 grams gelatine (3 ½ sheets), bloomed in cold water
2 egg yolks
50 grams heavy cream
400 grams pulled pork, chopped fine
For the Croquettes:
panko, Japanese breadcrumbs
5 egg whites
10 grams all purpose flour
On low heat melt the butter in a saucepan and soften the onion. Don’t let it brown.
When the onion is soft add the water, barbecue rub and the stock cube. Bring to a boil.
Turn off the heat and let the bouillon cool down.
Pour through a sieve.
Melt the butter in a sauce pan. It should foam but don’t let it brown.
Add all the flour at once and whisk it through the butter. You’ll get a crumbly consistency called a roux. Keep whisking for at least 2 minutes, the flour has to cook all the way otherwise your filling will taste of flour.
Little by little add the bouillon and whisk, only adding more when the previous amount is absorbed into the roux.
Let the roux cook for a moment and taste to make sure it doesn’t taste floury. If there is no floury taste take the pan of the heat.
Squeeze the excess water out of the gelatine sheets and add to the pan. Stir until the gelatine is dissolved.
Whisk together the egg yolks and the cream, add to the roux and season with salt, white pepper and a few drops of chipotle tabasco. This should be very well seasoned you’ll loose some of the flavor while deep frying.
Add the pulled pork, mix and pour into a baking dish. Let this mixture set in the fridge overnight.
The Pulled Pork Croquettes:
Divide the white sauce in 40 grams portions. Using a small ice scoop makes this a lot simpler than weighing it out.
Shape the croquettes, traditionally they are cylindrical shaped, and roll them through the breadcrumbs.
Loosen up the egg whites and the flour with a whisk and put this mixture in a bowl. Put the panko in another bowl.
With one hand roll the croquette through the egg whites and drop them, with the same hand, in the panko bowl.
Toss, with your still clean hand, panko over the croquette and then roll them through the panko to coat them all around. This way you’ll have one wet hand for the egg whites part and one dry hand for the panko part of the process.
If you started out with fresh pulled pork this is the point where you can freeze them. I freeze them first on a tray and then transfer them to a ziploc freezer bag. This way you don’t end up with all of you croquettes frozen together in one huge pulled pork croquette .
Fry your pulled pok croquettes in a deep fryer filled with vegetable oil at 175°C/ 350°F. Fresh ones take about 2 to 3 minutes, frozen ones 7-8 minutes to heat up.