Cecina croquetas with Puerto del Monte Mencia
The second in our series of recipes and pairings for the festive season is the classic Spanish tapa of croquetas ideal served to share before a meal, as part of buffet or passed round with drinks at a cocktail party. Our enologist and logistics manager Elena Ramos has recommended a recipe that features cecina, the cured beef typical of Leon, where the DO Bierzo is also located, so serve this with our Puerto del Monte Mencia for a very local pairing.
Makes 35 approx.
- 100g of sliced cecina (smoked cured beef)
- 1/2 onion
- 2 or 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 50g butter
- 100g flour
- 750ml milk
- salt & pepper
- 2 beaten eggs
1. Poach the very finely chopped onion in the oil and butter. When it starts to soften add the finely chopped cecina.
2. Mix in the flour and heat for a few moments to toast it before gradually adding the warm milk. Stir constantly and keep adding the milk until you have a thick béchamel.
3. Season with salt and pepper and put the béchamel into a tub and cover with clingfilm. Once cool, place in the fridge to chill further.
4. Once completely cold (preferably overnight) form the béchamel into quenelles, balls or small lozenge shapes and then coat them in flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs. They can be frozen at this stage for later use.
5. Fry them in enough oil to cover them completely (preferably in a deep fat fryer) so that they are golden and crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.
For a touch of regional flavour, and to bring out the smokiness of the cecina, serve with a local Mencia red. Made in the DO Bierzo in Leon, Puerto del Monte Mencia is bright with berry fruit, elegant with refreshing acidity, perfect for serving with a wide range of food during the festive season.