Meat Fondue-The Main Course of a Fondue Dinner
So, you've polished off the cheese fondue with bits of bread and apples, and are ready to move on to the main fondue event, meat fondue! Meat fondue may seem scary, after all you are cooking your own meat, and it may seem like a daunting task to get the oil or broth the right temperature to cook the meat, but not overdo it. Never fear, your friendly fondue guide is here to walk you through the steps and give you some fondue recipes to boot. Don't worry, I spent most of my teenage years screwing fondue up royally, so you can learn from my mistakes. The most important rule about fondue? Don't stress it, this dish is all about fun!
Start With FRESH, Raw Ingredients
Nothing will ruin your meat fondue faster than old or yucky meat. Because the meat isn't hidden by pasta, rice, or other ingredients it's really easy to sniff out a bad piece of meat. For beef try using nice, lean sirloin or filet mignon cuts. Trim all of the excess fat off of chicken, and choose the freshest seafood you possibly can. Once you've gleaned the best meat and seafood the market has to offer, chop it up into little, bite-sized cubes, roughly 1/2 inch across. Arrange the pieces of meat on platters in groups.
Don't forget your veggies either! Vegetables cook wonderfully in the fondue pot, and round out the main meat fondue course. Some of the best veggies to cook in the fondue pot include mushrooms (mmm, portobello), baby red potatoes (cut into bite size pieces), and broccoli. Experiment with your favorite veggies too! I have a sneaking suspicion eggplant would do well in the fondue pot too.
Electric or Traditional Fondue Pot?
When you go shopping for a fondue pot you'll notice a fundamental split in the offerings, electric and traditional fondue pots. Traditional fondue pots get their heat from a flame source underneath the pot, while electric fondue pots use, well electricity. The flame on a traditional fondue pot is very pretty and nostalgic, but I have to say that it doesn't heat very evenly nor does it keep a consistent temperature. Electric pots may be less romantic, but they heat evenly and stay a consistent temperature, which is very important when you are trying to cook meat. My opinion? Go with an electric fondue pot for meat fondue, it'll make your life much easier in the long run.
A Full Three-Course Fondue Meal
- How to Make Cheese Fondue-With Fondue Recipes
Many people think of fondue as a retro-hip kind of dish, but cheese fondue can be a flavorful and easy alternative to fussy appetizers or pre-made snacks.
- How to Make Chocolate Fondue-With Recipes
Alright, I would totally be lying if I told you that I had devoured chocolate fondue as a dessert only.
Into Hot Water, or Broth...
So, once you have your meat chopped up it's time to whisk together the broth you'll be cooking the meat in. Broth can lend a lot of flavor to the meat, so I'm including two recipes for folks to choose from, depending on their tastes.
Many purists may start yelling, "but what about the oil"? True, meat fondue was traditionally cooked in hot oil, but I like broth better for a few reasons:
- The flavors are rich and tasty.
- It's easier to keep broth a consistent temperature, and it won't scorch your meat.
- Broth doesn't spit and splatter like oil.
But you can use oil to cook your meat if you like!
For the first type of fondue broth lets start with a chicken base. You'll need:
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 Tbsp Garlic (chopped)
- 2 tsp rosemary (dry or fresh)
- 2 tsp oregano (dry or fresh)
Begin by sauteing the garlic in a splash of the stock for about a minute, just to bring out the flavor. Add the white wine and deglaze any garlic on the pan, and let evaporate for about one to two minutes. Finally, add chicken stock and herbs and bring to a slow boil. The broth is ready to cook your meat! Use these time estimates for your raw meat and veggies:
- Beef (steak) 2-3 minutes (Depends how rare you like it).
- Chicken 3-5 minutes (Make sure ALL pink is gone from meat).
- Seafood 1-3 minutes (Go easy on the lobster and salmon!)
- Veggies: Broccoli, zucchini and mushrooms 2-3 minutes, potatoes 5-8 minutes (just dump them in and scoop them out with a slotted spoon).
Beef Broth Fondue Recipe
For those who like their broth a bit more hearty try this beef based recipe:
- 3 cups beef stock/broth
- 1/2 cup red wine (like merlot)
- Handful of dried mushrooms (morell, crimini, etc.)
- 2 Tbsp chopped garlic
- 2 tsp thyme (dry or fresh)
Begin by sauteing the garlic as for the previous recipe in a bit of broth for about a minute. Add the mushrooms and the wine and let evaporate for about two minutes. Add beef stock and herbs and heat to a low boil. Cook food and enjoy!
Meat fondue can be fun and easy! A couple of of pointers to remember:
- Give diners separate forks for meat, cheese and dessert fondues (germs!)
- One pot will serve for about four to five diners, any more than that and all the meat in the pot never gets cooked. Set up a few fondue pots up and down the table if you have more than five guests.
- Keep a slotted spoon handy, some people have a knack for scaring the meat right off their forks.
- Provide plenty of dipping sauces for the meat and veggies, like ranch, cocktail sauce, teriyaki sauce, curry sauce, etc.
- Have fun and laugh, fondue is a social experience, not a stressful experience!
Ready for dessert? Try my Hub on How to Make Chocolate Fondue, I promise you won't be sorry.
Nadia Archuleta from Denver, Colorado on March 26, 2013:
You make meat fondue sound so easy, I want to try it. I've only ever made cheese and chocolate fondues. Thanks for sharing.
alie alink on December 30, 2009:
this is an awesome recipe, we started out using peanut oil, next we used the red wine/ beef broth, that was 100 times better, next week we will try the white wine/ chicken broth recipe, use some good dipping sauces, mmmmmm
Melinda Winner from Mississippi on June 30, 2009:
MMMMMM I love fondue