Portuguese Meat Croquettes


Who doesn’t love a good croquette? Let’s roll up our sleeves and dive into the art of making exquisite Portuguese meat croquettes. For this recipe, I’ve selected two cuts of beef with a generous fat content, which will be slow-cooked until tender. This fat not only imparts a rich flavor but also ensures the croquettes are irresistibly delicious. It’s not advisable to use steaks or more refined cuts since the meat will be extensively processed.

You can craft your croquettes in two ways: for a creamy texture, puree the meat; or, if you prefer a more rustic touch like I do, shred the meat so that every croquette has delightful bits of beef. Let’s get started on these savory treats that promise to be a rustic yet refined addition to any meal.

By the way this recipe is good for about 28 to 30 croquettes, so it’s perfect for a big party or picknic, lets check the recipe!

Portuguese Meat Croquettes

  • Servings: 30
  • Difficulty: Normal
  • Rating: ★★★★★
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Try at home these delicious crunchy on the outside and creamy on the interior homemade beef croquettes very common in Portugal.


  • Beef – 700gr
  • Chorizo – 150gr (or Sausage)
  • Bacon – 2 slices
  • Onion – 1
  • Garlic – 4 cloves
  • Milk – +/-150ml (Hot)
  • Butter – 100gr
  • Flour – +/-100gr
  • Breadcrumbs – As needed
  • Sunflower Oil – For frying
  • Sweet Paprika – A pinch
  • Pepper – A pinch
  • Salt – A pinch


  1. You can cook the meat in a normal pan (1h 20min) or in a pressure cooker (around 45min), of course the meat will be tender faster if you cook it in the pressure cooker. Start by adding the diced meat followed by the chorizo, which you will remove the skin from, season with a pinch of salt and fry with a drizzle of olive oil in a pan until the meat is golden brown.
  2. Pour in water until all the meat is covered, cook until the meat is very tender and falling apart, remove and drain the meat and squeeze it, the drier the better, you can use the drained liquid to make something like a meat sauce, the basis of a meat or bean soup, shred the meat and put it aside (i like a rough shrewd like a mix of finer and bigger chunks, the most traditional way is well shredded).
  3. Now on a large frying pan or wok, start sautéing the onion, bacon and chopped garlic with a drizzle of olive oil, let the onion caramelize well, then add the shredded meat and mix the sauté well, season with paprika, pepper and salt, then remove from the heat.
  4. Now in a large saucepan add the butter and a pinch of salt, when the butter is melted add the flour, this part is a bit by eye (even though I put the approximate amount of flour), I suggest adding spoonfuls of flour mix and add again until you create a ball of dough, let it cook until its very soft and golden.
  5. Then add the milk little by little, stirring well each time you add it. You want to create a stiff béchamel, you may not need to add all the milk, if you create a normal bechamel sauce it will be too thin, you want a super thick version.
  6. Now add the beef stew to the bechamel and mix well to make the dough for the croquettes (if this is too loose and doesn’t have the consistency of dough, then try and cook it all a bit more slowly to try and evaporate some of the excess liquid).
  7. Prepare a plate with breadcrumbs, you will shape small cylinders of dough and arrange them on the breadcrumbs so that they are completely covered, repeat until you have no more dough.
  8. Now heat the oil over a medium-high heat and fry the croquettes until they are golden brown on the outside, you don’t need to worry about the filling since it’s already cooked, when the outside is golden brown, then it’s ready.
  9. Remove the croquettes to some kitchen paper or metal rack, let them drain of excess oil and they’re ready to eat, delicious!!!! Enjoy!
Notes: Once you’ve coated them in breadcrumbs, you don’t have to fry them. You can store them in an airtight container and freeze them, so that when you want croquettes, all you have to do is fry or bake them. Also on the second step before you cook the meat you can add meat stock (or meat bullion) to make a richer version, although in Portugal its less common to add it 🙂

This recipe for Portuguese Meat Croquettes was originally created on BakeAfter.com. Esta receita de https://www.iguaria.com/petisco/salgado/classicos-croquetes-de-carne/ foi publicada em português no Iguaria.com.


Per Serving: 4800 calories; 300 g fat; 300 g carbohydrates; 200 g protein.

Did you try this recipe?

Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below ;D


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