View my step-by-step video




Everyone wants a great appetizer in the repertoire that they can prepare and serve that can serve enough people including those last minute and unexpected guests, is economical and won’t break the bank. These Bitterballen have a delicious meat filled center that is floating in a creamy roux or what the Dutch call a ragout. The texture is unexpected and well appreciated. Earlier this year we traveled to Amsterdam and I was delighted to taste this well loved Dutch treat. In Amsterdam, you can pretty much order this at any bar, Café or Restaurant, but they even served this in our fancy hotel cocktail reception. I researched this recipe extensively and you’re going to see how easy this can be. I just want to warn you that this does have a few steps, but for very little money, you will be rewarded with a large batch of Bitterballen to serve everyone. My recipe yields about 50.
I like to break this recipe into two parts and will process it over two days. On day one, I will prepare the stock and the roux base. This will chill in the fridge for me overnight. The next day, I will shape the Bitterballen, double breadcrumb them and fry them. This traditional recipe uses a very specific stock make with beef, leeks and carrots.
The Bitterballen are rolled in crumbs twice, the first time in Dutch biscuits and the second time in breadcrumbs. I’m unable to get Dutch biscuits here so I chose a cracker with very low salt content and just processed it in my food processor.
The filling is scooped out, rolled in the biscuit crumbs, cooled, then rolled in beaten egg, rolled again in breadcrumbs and then fried till crispy and delicious!
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  • 1 lb Steak
  • 3 Carrots
  • 1 Leek
  • 2 liters Water
  • 1 cup Butter
  • 3 tbsps finely diced Shallots
  • 1 cup all purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup extra Water if needed
  • Nutmeg to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped Parsley
  • 12 low sodium crackers(approximate)
  • 6-8 beaten eggs(approximate)
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs(approximate)
  • Oil for frying


  1. Make a stock with the Steak, Carrots, Leeks and 2 liters of Water
  2. Cook this for 2.5 hours till you yield about 2 cups of stock
  3. Strain the stock and separate the veggies from the meat
  4. Shred the meat with two forks and remove any large fat or tissue pieces with your hands
  5. Discard the veggies or save it for another recipe
  6. In a large saute pan melt the butter and saute the shallots
  7. Add the flour a tbsp at a time and stir to incorporate
  8. Add the 2 cups of stock in, tbsps at a time and stir in
  9. If your roux is too thick, add a 1/2 cup of water
  10. Add the meat and fold in
  11. Add the parsley
  12. Add salt to taste, but under salt as it will get thicker and more salty in the fridge
  13. Divide the filling into two shallow containers and leave in the fridge overnight
  14. Grind the crackers in your food processor and if there are any big pieces just add them to a ziploc bag an roll them with your rolling pin
  15. Using an ice cream scoop, drop the filling onto the crumbs, cover and roll to coat
  16. As you complete a small batch, return to the fridge to keep cold
  17. When ready to fry, dip in beaten eggs, and coat in breadcrumbs before deep frying