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Dutch Meatballs (Bitterballen)

I host an annual Christmas party for some friends, and one year, I made a dish from each person's background, including these Dutch meatballs with a crispy coating. Talk about a hit! —Tracey Rosato, Markham, Ontario
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. + chilling Cook: 5 min./batch
  • Makes
    2-1/2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 beef top sirloin steak (3/4 pound), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-1/3 cups dry bread crumbs
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • Oil for deep-fat frying
  • Stone-ground mustard, optional

Directions

  • In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add broth; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Carefully add meat and parsley; cook and stir for 2-5 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Stir in the salt, nutmeg and pepper. Transfer to a bowl; refrigerate for 3-4 hours or until chilled.
  • Place bread crumbs in a small shallow bowl. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and oil. Drop meat mixture by tablespoonfuls into bread crumbs; shape into balls. Dip meatballs in egg mixture, then coat again with crumbs. In an electric skillet or a deep fryer, heat oil to 375°.
  • Fry meatballs, a few at a time, for 2-4 minutes or until golden brown on all sides. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot with mustard if desired.
Nutrition Facts
1 each: 72 calories, 5g fat (1g saturated fat), 22mg cholesterol, 88mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 4g protein.

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Reviews

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Average Rating:
  • banaan
    Mar 12, 2019

    Lekker sappig geil wijf neuken!

  • Anton
    Mar 9, 2019

    Yes I agree with other posters. Authentic bitterballen need a nice pure beef/meat ragout, onions garlic etc, not chunks of quick cooked beef. The ragout is cooked slow and long till the meat becomes so soft you can cut it with a spoon, you then press it with a fork into a rich stringy paste which is thickened with either flour or gelatine (they use gelatin in the commercial ones). The mixture is allowed to set in the chiller. Once it's chilled its easy to roll or scoop into perfect balls, then breaded thickly so they don't leak when fried. Very easy and delicious. However it's quite difficult getting the perfect taste of Dutch bitterballen, and krokets, the commercial ones we all love and know from snackbars and pubs. Fear not because you can still make them very delicious by upgrading, adding red wine, herbs and spices to your taste. Cheese krokets are just as tasty, just bread a thick square slice of your favorite cheese and fry!

  • cassiejeanms
    Feb 5, 2014

    Fairly easy to make and tastes very good!! My daughter's favorite new party food!!

  • mountainberrybutterfly
    Feb 2, 2013

    Thank you smulpaap. That way makes sense. I am very excited to make these for my father who is heritage is from the Netherlands. He fondly remembers many ethnic dishes his mother made when he was young.

  • smulpaap
    Jan 31, 2013

    I am Dutch and make bitterballen at least once a year as part of my New Year's Eve buffet. Bitterballen are made the same way one makes croquettes, just a different shape. The bitterballen in the Netherlands are made with meat that is cooked to the point where it falls apart. The best are referred to as meat threads, draadjes vlees. So you cook the seasoned meat till it falls apart, then add the flour to the pan and make a roux, add the liquid, water or broth depending on how well seasoned the meat was to begin with and cook until the flour has the consistency of extremely thick gravy. Then chill the mixture and once chilled you will be able to form balls which then are breaded. We like to double bread them so the filling does not leak out when they are fried. This also lets you fry them all at once and any leftovers can just be reheated in the oven. They also make a good sandwich filling the next day.

  • taver
    Jan 31, 2013

    Because I am familiar with the bitterballen(original dutch name) I know to use cooked meat for this recipe. It is very tasty/gives better texture when cut fine.We add 1 TBlsp of gelatin and 1/8 mace increasing the pepper to 1/4 tsp.

  • DarLynn4706
    Jan 31, 2013

    Totally agree with other reviewers.. am sitting here thinking the picture looks so delicious, then read the instructions; now scratching my head with a puzzled look on my face. I want to make them but don't dare until the instructions are clear.

  • Lovepiggs
    Jan 31, 2013

    This recipe doesn't make sense. Are these chunks of breaded meat, or actual meatballs with ground beef?

  • texazgal
    Jan 31, 2013

    Haven't made, but how do you get a meatball out of a 1/2" cube of steak? I thought ground meat works better.