• Three-flavours bitterballen (Andy Baker)Source: Andy Baker

These classic Dutch croquettes are usually made from slowly braised shredded beef, but these mince versions are delicious and will save you a lot of time. Accented with cheese, herb and curry (a nod to the Indomalayan influence in Dutch cookery), the three flavours look identical from the outside so it’s luck of the draw when choosing.






Skill level

Average: 3.5 (51 votes)


  • 200 g butter
  • 2 brown onions, finely diced
  • 2.5 kg beef mince
  • 200 g plain flour
  • 1.5 litres chicken stock
  • 1 cup mixed fresh herbs (such as parsley, thyme, chives, basil)
  • 2 tbsp Baba’s meat curry powder (available from Asian grocers)
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 litres oil, for deep-frying



  • 150 g (1 cup) plain flour
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups dried breadcrumbs


Mustard-mayonnaise dip

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¾ cup Dijon mustard

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Chilling time: 2 hours

Heat a little of the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook the onion and beef in batches until well browned, seasoning well with salt and pepper. Remove from the saucepan and set aside.

Heat the remaining butter in the pan and add the flour. Cook until a brown roux, then add the stock, a little at a time, stirring well after each addition to remove any lumps. Return the meat to the sauce and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently until the mixture becomes a thick paste.

Combine one-third of the mixture with the herbs. Combine another third with the cheese.

Add the curry powder to the remaining third and cook for a few minutes before transferring to a bowl. Refrigerate all three mixtures for at least 2 hours until solid.

Form each mixture into 10 balls. Coat in the flour, eggs (shaking off excess) and breadcrumbs, repeating the egg and breadcrumb layers to ensure the fillings are completely covered and the outer layer is thick. As the mixture fries, the ball will leak if not completely covered.

Heat the oil to 180ºC and deep-fry the balls for about 5 minutes until golden brown.

Combine the mayonnaise and mustard together and serve the bitterballen with the dip.


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