This recipe comes from the ultra talented and long-time supporter of Tempus, Pip Lacey.
Chef Patron of the much lauded Hicce in Coal Drops Yard in Kings Cross, Great British Menu winner and former Head Chef for Angela Hartnett at Murano, Pip has an incredible eye for flavour and texture combinations and as such is always looking for the best produce she can and we're honoured that she chose Tempus as her British charcuterie partner at Hicce.
50g plain flour
50g unsalted butter
1 garlic clove
sprig of thyme
150g panko breadcrumbs
2 eggs beaten
Dice the guanciale and the shallot.
Heat the milk with the thyme and crushed garlic clove so they infuse.
Heat the oil and butter in a medium saucepan over a medium heat and, when the butter melts, add the shallot and and fry gently for a minute, then add guanciale and cook until the shallot has softened, and the ham fat has begun to melt.
Turn the heat down, gradually stir in the flour and cook gently, stirring regularly, until it loses its raw flavour – this should take about 8–10 minutes.
Gradually stir in the hot milk, beating it in well, until you have a smooth paste. Cook for another 10 mins, then add the cheese at the end. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Put the béchamel in a bowl and allow to cool, then cover, pressing the clingfilm on to the surface of the sauce to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Put the beaten eggs into a bowl, and the breadcrumbs into another.
With floured hands, roll spoonfuls of the mixture into cylinders and dip these into the egg, then roll in the breadcrumbs until well coated.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan to 180C, or until it begins to shimmer. Prepare a plate lined with kitchen roll.
Fry the croquetas in batches for a couple of minutes until golden all over, then lift out with a slotted spoon and serve at once.
Add sliced lardo for extra pleasure!