A lot of you would have had these as part of a canape package, or as a topping with the sliders. They can also be used as a starter, with Asian slaw, and sriracha mayo.
1.3kg beef brisket
3 tbsp sunflower oil, plus about 800ml to fry the croquettes
1.2 litres Asian stock (see below)
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2cm dice (110g)
3 banana shallots, peeled and cut into 1/2cm dice (120g)
3 eggs, lightly whisked
2 tbsp full-fat milk
150g panko breadcrumbs
50g plain flour
coarse sea salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan assisted).
Rub 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper all over the beef, making sure that both sides get covered. Put 2 tablespoons of the sunflower oil into a wok or large pan and place over medium-high heat. Add the beef fat side down and cook for about 10 minutes, turning so that all sides are sealed and golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Put the brisket into a slow cooker,clean and pour in the Asian stock, and cook for 4 to 5 hours, until the meat is tender and falling apart. Take off the lid, and leave the brisket to cool in the stock for at least an hour before lifting it out of the liquid and setting it aside. Strain the stock, put into a saucepan and boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 8 to 10 minutes, until about half the liquid—around 200 to 250 ml—is left in the pan and it has the consistency of thick syrup. Take care not to thicken it too much, as it will become bitter. Set aside.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil in a medium frying pan. Add the carrots, shallots, and sauté over medium-high heat for 10 to 12 minutes, until soft. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, use your hands to pull off and discard the fat from the brisket, and then use your hands or a knife to finely shred the meat. Place it in a large mixing bowl along with the cooked vegetables and 100 ml of the master stock reduction. Mix well and use your hands to shape the mixture into small, round balls weighing 40 g each: you should make about 24. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet in the fridge for at least an hour to firm up—any less and they won’t hold together as much as they need to before being fried.
Mix together the beaten eggs and milk and place the mixture in a bowl. Pour the bread crumbs and flour into separate bowls, then coat the bon bons—flour first, egg next, followed by the crumbs, pressing these into the bon bons—and set aside until ready to cook.
1.25 liters chicken stock
150 ml dark or light soy sauce
200 ml Shaoxing rice wine
6-cm piece of ginger, peeled and julienned (45 g)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
40 g cassia bark or cinnamon sticks
15 g dried mandarin peel (or 1 long strip of shaved orange zest)
1½ tsp Szechuan peppercorns
8 whole star anise
100 g demerara sugar
Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Strain the stock through a fine sieve, it will keep for up to 3 months in the fridge.