This is a riff on Japanese style croquettes, or korokke, which are usually stuffed with ground beef, carrots, and onions and drizzled with tonkatsu sauce. Korokke night was always a treat growing up, and leftovers were always carefully wrapped, labeled, and tucked away into the deepest corners of the fridge, safe from the thieving hands of sibling korokke-snatchers.
These crispy pockets of starch are filled with lamb, leeks, parsley, and horseradish for a kick. The recipe isn’t complicated per say, but the whole process is somewhat time consuming, so I’d suggest this for a weekend. Cooking took me about an hour from start to finish (snapping photos all the while).
Coating the croquettes is always a bit messy. The trick is to use one hand to roll it in the flour, the other to roll it in the egg, and the first to roll it in the crumbs. This will keep the egg and flour from turning into a gloppy mess on your fingers.
And fry. Woks are perfect for deep frying because the curved sides make it easy to slide things into the oil, plus the top is wider than the bottom, which gives you more surface area for frying without needing so much oil.
SPICY LAMB AND LEEK CROQUETTES
1/2 pound of ground lamb
3 large russet potatoes
1 medium leek, white part only
2-3 tablespoons of freshly grated horseradish
1/2 cup of parsley, roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 or 2 eggs, beaten
1 cup of flour
2 cups of panko bread crumbs
3-4 cups of oil for frying
Peel the potatoes and cut them into large 2″ chunks. Add them to a pot and fill with enough water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, about 15-20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and mash them. They don’t need to be as smooth as mashed potatoes; you can leave a few chunks if you like.
Thoroughly clean your leek and slice finely. Saute the leeks and minced garlic over medium high heat until they begin to soften, about five minutes. Add the ground lamb and stir to break up the meat. Add the salt and pepper and cook for about another five minutes, or until the meat is brown. Discard any liquid from the pan.
Combine the potatoes with the meat, parsley, and horseradish and season generously with salt and pepper. Let it sit until it’s cool enough for you to handle, then divide into about nine portions and shape into an oblong ball (about 4″ in length).Alternatively, you can shape them into small patties.
Lay out the flour, eggs, and panko in separate plates. Heat the oil in a pot over medium high heat. Roll the potato balls in the flour, then the egg, then the panko. Fry for about ____ minutes, or until golden brown.
Serve plain, or with tonkatsu sauce.