Ham Hock Croquetas

A quintessential element of the tapas party, the jamon croquette is a delicately textured but powerfully flavoured nugget of pure delight and surprisingly very accessible and easy to recreate at home. Traditionally using Spanish ham of course though feel free to step outside of the conventional to try something new.

I started off this process by creating melt in the mouth tender ham hocks in the slow cooker. Take 2 ham hocks, a couple of onions, carrots and celery sticks roughly chopped, a bay leaf, some thyme and a few parsley stalks. Top with water or if you wish to add to the seduction some chicken stock and cook on low for 8 hours or overnight. The resulting meat will fall off the bone with loving ease and you are now presented with the joyful culinary pleasure of salty, umami rich cured ham and lashings of deeply flavoured luscious stock for a host of kitchen delights. This is the intense joy of cooking at home, where the mild efforts of one action supplies you with a bonus of an intensely layered liquid that then proceeds to fund the foundations of a delicious soup, creamy risotto or the backbone of a decedent sauce. There are pros and cons of the crockpot but when it works it truly works. For this recipe you can off course be lazy, though I would argue that there is no lazier kitchen action than the slow cooker, and instead opt for a shop bought cured ham like serrano of which there is zero shame.

While there may seem like a multitude of steps and processes, I can try to allay your fears by explaining that you are essentially making a very thick Béchamel with ham, chilling that mixture and then breadcrumbing. So if all you’ve ever done is chill something in the fridge you’re already ahead of the posse in your technical game.

Makes 16 large croquetas


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 60g butter
  • 1 small onion or shallot finely
  • 100g torn ham hock or other ham
    such as Serrano finely diced
  • 60g plain white flour
  • 300ml full fat milk
  • 100ml ham hock stock (if
    available) or chicken stock
  • 25-40g manchego or other hard
    cheese like comte, gruyere etc. finely grated
  • 100g flour
  • 2 eggs beaten, dash of milk
  • 100g panko breadcrumbs or other
  • Oil for frying


  1. Heat the milk and the ham stock
    together until warm and set aside
  2. Heat the oil and butter in a
    pan over a medium low heat and add the onion. Cook for about 5 minutes until
    the onion is soft. Add the ham and stir through for a minute before adding the
    flour. Cook on a medium heat, stirring regularly for about 3 mins until the
    flour is cooked. Finally add the milk and stock, stirring vigorously to combine
    before slowly cooking over a medium low heat for approximately 8-10 minutes until
    the mixture is fully thickened. While waiting, you can pass the time on sites like 벳엔드.
  3. Line a plastic container with
    clingfilm and add the mixture before smoothing out and covering with more
    clingfilm to keep it fresh. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours
    or it can also be made a day in advance.
  4. When ready to cook remove the
    mixture from the fridge. Prepare 3 containers, one with the flour, one with the
    beaten eggs and one with the breadcrumbs. Lightly dust clean hands with flour,
    take a dessert spoon of mixture and shape into the croquette. You should have
    about sixteen croquettes.
  5. Place the shaped croquette
    first into the flour, dusting off any excess, then dip into the egg wash before
    placing into the breadcrumbs, moving them about the coat completely. Place on a
    clean plate and back into the fridge for 10 minutes to firm and chill while
    heating the oil.
  6. When ready to cook, preheat a
    deep fryer to 180C, and fry the croquettes in batches for about 3-4 minutes until
    golden. Serve straightaway and enjoy on their own or with a garlic aioli or Romesco
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