Saturday, March 6, 2010

Return of the rissole?

Two of the meals I had out this week included what passed for a rissole. Lunch at Riverstation in Bristol had some made out of lambs’ shoulder served with mash (and a taster course of tongue and parsley rissoles slipped to us by the chef Tim who knew my dining companion, his cheese supplier).

The other was at Bistrot Bruno in Clerkenwell in London where a ‘revised Lyonnaise salad’ (below) included delicious little deep fried fingers of shredded ham.

Of course in these recessionary times making rissoles (usually from leftover meat) makes abundant sense only it’s interesting that neither chef uses the ‘R’ word. Can’t blame them really. It does conjure up memories of tough, tasteless little cylinders made from overcooked grey meat, minced and underseasoned. Croquetas, Spain’s contribution to the world of deep-fried leftovers are so much more sexy. Even croquettes (which is what the Riverstation called theirs) sound better.

The style of cooking that lends itself particularly well to rissole treatment is slow roasting or braising which gives meat a delectable fall-apart texture without any loss of flavour. Given the fashion for all things retro at the moment I hope we’ll see more.

Have you ever made rissoles? Would you eat them in a restaurant?


  1. I have always loved rissoles. I used to make them, as you say, from cooked meat, usually pork. The important difference to me between traditional English rissoles and croquettas patties is the addition of some kind of rusk to the finely chopped or minced cooked meat,rather than the continental style bechamel base. I always used stuffing mix.

    The outside egged and breaded, shallow fried until very crisp, and the whole lot served with something saucey, either HP or ketchup.

    Very nice lunch :)

  2. What are all those bits in the sauce in the first photo, looks lumpy, hope that sauce wasn't made from something dried. Naughty Chef!! Naughty Tim! lol.

    I have made Rissoles, but probably not something I would look to eat if dining out. The reason being, eating out, should involve a dining far removed from something you would experience at home.

    In addition, I don't like the idea of my dish, being made from yesterdays resturaunt leftovers as invariably would happen.

    Rissoles and screwtop wines are most definitely in my "room 101", along with fondue!! :)