Happy St. Patrick’s day! It’s for sure the most unusual St. Patrick’s day I ever celebrated. I’m nowhere near Ireland or Antwerp (where I celebrated it every year before I moved to Ireland) and the world is battling coronavirus. I know all festivities in Ireland have been cancelled, the pubs are closed and things may not look like much. But that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate this glorious day at home. I make a new St. Patrick’s day recipe each year, and this year is no different as I made Irish black pudding potato croquettes with bacon, onion & garlic.
I never expected to be able to find black pudding here in Australia, but my favourite brand Clonakilty is being sold in select stores all around the country. These croquettes are easy to make and are based on normal potato croquettes, just with some extra ingredients inside. It is not hard to make but you do need to keep in mind that anything you want to fry have as little wet ingredients as possible, as they will cause quite a splash when you try to fry them.
I used a deep fryer to make mine, but you can easily heat up vegetable oil in a deep wok and fry them there. The fryer I had is quite shallow so I had to flip my croquettes over a couple of times to make sure they were being cooked and getting that lovely golden brown colour all over.
I hope you all have a great day today, whether you are in Ireland, in lockdown, self-isolation, .. and remember: be kind to one another! I’ve seen quite a few people act out in ways they shouldn’t, being selfish, being rude. There is no need to be hoarding, there is no need to be buying 6 packets of butter, 10 bottles of milk, 4 loafs of bread and 50 rolls of toilet paper. There is no need to fight over flour, steal things from other people’s trolleys and push & shove each other. Please keep other people in mind, think about other parents who need to buy nappies for their babies and ask yourself: do I really need to buy a year’s worth of supplies and empty this entire shelf? Ask yourself: do I know of any elderly people who I can supply with groceries instead of keeping it all myself? And last but not least: there is no excuse for racism, EVER.
Irish black pudding potato croquettes with bacon, onion & garlic
- 1 small red onion
- 3 large cloves of garlic
- 300g potatoes
- 200g black pudding
- 100g streaky bacon
- 4 tablespoons of fresh thyme
- 3 eggs
- 100g dried breadcrumbs (panko)
- 25-50g of self-raising flour
- 4 tablespoons of dried parsley
- Pepper & salt
- For the deep fryer or wok: vegetable oil
- To serve: Ballymaloe tomato relish, or sweet chilli relish/chutney
Peel & boil potatoes until soft - depending on their size this can take between 15-30 minutes.
Drain the potatoes and put them back into the pot, onto low heat to evaporate as much water as possible (avoid burning them or giving them a crust though!). Mash and set aside to cool down.
Remove the skin from the black pudding, crumble it up and cook in a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil. Cook until the colour changes to a darker one and until it becomes less sticky but more crumbly.
Add to the mash.
Fry the bacon in the same frying pan, cook until slighty crispy. Remove as much oil as possible, chop up the bacon and add to the mash.
Slice up the red onion, crush the garlic and add both to the mash.
Add the fresh thyme and dried parsley and season the croquettes well with pepper, and only a small bit of salt (there will be salt in there from the bacon).
Mix everything really well, so that each croquette will have every single flavour & ingredient in it.
Set up 2 plates, 1 bowl and another plate or board. Put flour onto one plate, season with a bit of pepper. Beat up the eggs in a bowl and add the breadcrumbs onto the second plate. The last plate or board is to put the finished croquettes on.
Roll out a ball of the mash, I went for meatball-sized (larger than bite-size) but you can make them as small or as big as you want. It will only affect how long you need to cook them for. Roll the ball into the flour, shake of any excess flour, dip it in the egg (make sure it's covered on all sides), then roll it around in the breadcrumbs and set aside.
Heat up a deep fryer to 190°C. If you're using a wok or something similar you just heat up the vegetable oil at high heat. Make sure the oil is about as deep as just over half of the croquettes.
Fry the croquettes, you can add a few at a time but don't overcrowd the deep fryer or your wok of course. Fry until they are golden brown and crispy on all sides, the time will depend on the size. If your fryer is not deep enough make sure to roll over the croquettes regularly.
Serve with your favourite dip and Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit!
I find it easiest to do the rolling in flour in batches rather than one by one, so I always roll about 5 balls, roll them around in flour first, then dip them in egg with my left hand, drop them onto the breadcrumbs and roll them with my right hand while I roll another one in the egg with my left. The reason I avoid doing it one by one is because you don't want to mix up your bowls, you want to avoid having a lot of flour in the eggs so you'll either have to wash your hands after coating each croquette with flour, or just do a few, then wash your hands, and move on.