Back in 2007, I was looking through the cookbooks at Williams-Sonoma and happened upon Apples For Jam by Tessa Kiros. I hadn't heard of Tessa at the time, but the cookbook was beautiful and the recipes were organized by color and it really caught my attention. I scooped up Tessa's cookbook that day, bought every other cookbook she wrote, and have been happily making her recipes ever since.
Tessa's Beef and Potato Croquettes from her Gold chapter have been on my "to-make" list ever since. They caught my attention because they are simple and seem like the perfect family-friendly type dish to make. A handful of ingredients: potatoes, ground beef, Parmesan cheese, 1 egg, salt, breadcrumbs, and oil. Then I read Tessa's blurb and it says "these are very popular and seem to just disappear when there are kids around," and I'm sold. If a dish is kid-friendly then it likely means that it'll be a dish everyone loves.
If you have leftover mashed potatoes laying around (and someone didn't eat them prior to your plans to make this dish) then these will come together so easy and quick it would make your head spin! However, if you had just enough mashed potatoes left over to make this dish and a certain ravenous 16 year old boy ate them, then you'll have to make another batch of mashed potatoes. Such is life!
Either way, this dish is easy, economical, family-friendly, savory, crispy, tender, and oh so flavorful. I will definitely be making them again.
Beef and Potato Croquettes
Adapted from Apples For Jam
by Tessa Kiros
Makes about 40 small croquettes
about 4 potatoes, scrubbed
3/4 pound good quality ground beef
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
about 1 cup dry bread crumbs
about 5 tablespoons olive oil
Put a pan of salted water on to boil. Add the unpeeled potatoes and boil, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until they are soft and completely cooked through. (My potatoes were not the same size so I did peel them and cut them into same-size pieces and then cook them).
Preheat the oven to 350F. Drain the potatoes and, when they are cool enough, peel them. Mash them well in a wide bowl. Add the beef, parmesan, egg, and salt, and mix thoroughly with your hands.
Roll into balls about the size of small walnuts and then flatten them a bit into little ovals. Put the bread crumbs on a plate and pat the croquettes in them to coat both sides. Drizzle about 2-1/2 tablespoons of oil over the bottom of a large baking pan, spreading it around with the back of a spoon. Pack the croquettes like tight soldiers on the pan and drizzle lightly with another couple of tablespoons of oil.
Put the pan in the oven and bake the croquettes for about 30 minutes, or until the undersides are nicely golden and a bit crisp. Turn them over gently and bake for another 10 minutes, or longer if necessary, until the new undersides become nicely golden (even a little crisp here and there - but not dried out).
Serve warm or a room temperature with a small scattering of salt, if you think they need it.