Sandra Djohan

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Oma Aurelia Bitterballen

When I was little, on Sundays my extended family on my father’s side would gather at Puncak Pas and gorge on Dutch-inspired bitterballen, krokket and more. As an adult in Europe, I encountered these dishes again triggering nostalgia and memories of my grandmother, who came from Dutch stock. These memories brought me to explore various countries in search of authentic versions.


500 g beef
200 g real butter
50 g our
2 to 3 beef bouillon cubes

(or fresh beef stock)
1 tbsp nutmeg
3 cups lukewarm water
3 eggs
1 pack coarse breadcrumbs

For the Roux

1 stick (100 g) butter
1 cup (120 g) our
2 shallots, chopped
1⁄2 quart (500 ml) milk
1⁄2 quart (500 ml) beef stock (made

from cooking the meat)
5 sheets gelatin
Salt, pepper and a little nutmeg,

to taste
1 bunch at-leaf parsley,

nely chopped
1 tbsp dijon mustard

Instructions

  1. Cut the beef into cubes, then melt the butter in the pan. Fry the diced beef and add the bouillon cubes (or fresh beef stock). Add the water and stir. Put the lid on and wait for three hours while the beef simmers.
  2. Remove the beef from the pan but keep the broth. Pull the beef apart using two forks, and add it back to the broth. Add nutmeg to the broth.
  3. Mix the our with water and pour the paste into the broth, stirring until turns into a ragout.
  4. Cool and place on the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.
  5. The next day, assemble the bitterballen. Prepare 3 bowls: one for beaten eggs, one for breadcrumbs and another bowl with extra breadcrumbs.
  6. Take out the ragout from the refrigerator. Pinch off a little to make a ball, rolling it rst in the breadcrumbs, then in the eggs, then back in the breadcrumbs.
  7. Once again freeze the bitterballen for at least 2 hours before frying.
  8. Deep-fry the bitterballen and enjoy!

Tips: Salpicon refers to a preparation made of one or more ingredients that are minced or diced, and bound with a sauce. A roux is a mixture of fat and flour that is cooked until thick and bubbling.

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