Portuguese Beef Croquettes (Croquetes de Carne)

Croquettes are one of the most popular and widely known Portuguese food dishes. They are made with just about any type of meat and are perfect on their own or as a side dish. The most traditional of these croquettes are Croquettes de Carne, or Portuguese beef croquettes. These beef & chourico cakes are shaped as a cylinder and are surrounded with a crunchy golden fried dough shell. They are packed with lots of delicious flavor and great for serving when guests are around.

*Makes 20 Croquettes*
1.5 cups ground beef
4 tablespoons + 1 tablespoon of butter
2 garlic cloves chopped
2 ounces of chopped chourico
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
4/5 cup of milk
1 onion, chopped
3 ounces flour
lime juice to taste
salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs beaten
bread crumbs for sprinkling on top
oil to fry
1 lime cut into quarters

1) In a large frying pan start cooking 4 tablespoons of the butter, garlic, bay leaf and chourico. Stir and heat through. Add the ground beef.
2) Season with salt and pepper. Continue frying it while crushing the beef with a fork so it remains loose and doesn’t clump.
3) When the meat is fried, add the chopped parsley and stir. Remove the bay leaf and turn off the heat.
4) In a separate pot, cook the remaining butter and onion. Let it cook on medium heat without letting it brown.
5) Add flour to the pot and stir well. And gradually add the milk while stirring.
6) Season with a few pinches of salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste. Add the meat to the this mixture and mix well.
7) Stir until it is well mixed and then turn off the heat. Remove from the pot and place in a bowl and let cool.
8) With the mixture has cooled, mold croquettes out of it and place on a plate previously coated with flour.
9) Coat the croquettes with the beaten eggs. Then sprinkle them with breadcrumbs.
10 Now fry the croquettes one by one in a deep frying pan on high heat with the oil.
11) Once golden fried, remove them with a slotted spoon and place them on a plate with paper towels.
12) Let them cool for a minute and once you are done, cut a lime into quarters to serve with on a platter for extra flavor. Serve and enjoy.

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