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Home > Restaurants > Recipes > Virginia-Ham Croquettes

Virginia-Ham Croquettes

Provided by: Chef Thomas Keller
Served at: Per Se

  • Type of Dish: Sides, Small Plates
  • Servings: 8
  • Cuisine: American
  • Reader Rating: Write a Review

Photo by Reinhard Hunger
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4 ounces cooked Smithfield ham, rind and excess fat removed (Serrano or prosciutto can be substituted)
1 large shallot
1 small carrot
2 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
1/2 stick sweet butter
2/3 cup less 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
2 whole eggs
1 egg white
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon minced chives
1 teaspoon picked thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 quart vegetable oil


The day before, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Put the ham, 1 quart water, shallot, carrot, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme sprig in a medium cast-iron casserole with a lid. Bring to a boil over medium heat, cover the casserole with foil and then the lid, and braise in the oven until the ham is almost falling apart, about 8 hours. Allow the ham to cool in the liquid overnight. The next day, bring 1/2 cup of the ham-braising liquid and butter to a boil in a small saucepan. Add all the flour at once to the liquid and stir until thoroughly incorporated. Remove from heat and beat in one egg at a time until the pâte à choux mixture is smooth. Cover and keep warm.

Place the ham in a food processor and process until finely shredded and powdery. Add approximately an equal amount of the pâte à choux mixture to the ham and process until the mixture is creamy. Blend in all the parsley, chives, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.

Roll the mixture into 64 3/4-inch balls. Freeze any excess balls. Fill halfway a heavy tall-sided pot with oil and heat to 350 degrees. Right before serving the soup, add the ham balls in small batches and fry until crisp on the exterior. Drain on a paper towel and serve immediately. (Published 2005)

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