Bitterballen, often considered the Dutch equivalent of comfort food, are golden-fried balls filled with a creamy, savory mixture. These delightful bites are the perfect accompaniment to a crisp, cold beer while enjoying the picturesque canals of Amsterdam. Join us as we guide you through crafting this Dutch masterpiece, inviting you to experience the authentic taste of Amsterdam’s culinary tradition.
For the Filling:
- 2 cups cooked beef or veal, finely shredded
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups beef or veal broth
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Pinch of nutmeg
For the Bitterballen:
- 2 cups cold mashed potatoes
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups fine breadcrumbs
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Start by preparing the filling. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onion and cook until it becomes translucent.
- Stir in the flour to create a roux, and cook for a minute or two until it turns a pale golden color.
- Gradually whisk in the beef or veal broth to create a smooth, thickened sauce.
- Add the finely shredded beef or veal, chopped fresh parsley, a pinch of nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper. Stir until the mixture is well combined. Let it cool completely.
- Once the filling is cooled, take about a tablespoon of the mixture and shape it into a small ball. Repeat this with the remaining filling.
- Place the cold mashed potatoes in a bowl. Take a small portion and flatten it in your hand.
- Put a meatball-sized portion of the cooled beef or veal filling in the center of the potato round and encase it to form a ball.
- Dip each ball into the beaten eggs, then coat it with fine breadcrumbs. Repeat this process for all the bitterballen.
- In a deep pot, heat vegetable oil to 350°F (175°C).
- Carefully fry the bitterballen in batches until they are golden brown and crisp, about 3-4 minutes.
- Remove the bitterballen with a slotted spoon and drain them on paper towels.
- Serve the Bitterballen hot, alongside your favorite dipping sauce.