I have always loved the fondue pot. When I was a kid, we would fill the pot with oil, heat it up several hundreds of degrees and drop in little pieces of beef on a stick. You had everything there. Hot oil inches from you, food on a stick and an amazing delivery method to carry various dips and sauces to your mouth.
Put a tiny cube of beef on your fondue fork, stick it in and a minute later it is done and the biggest challenge is to ensure you don’t burn yourself with the hot fork or lose your meat off of the fork. Back in the day we had a few choices for dipping sauces: ketchup, mustard (yellow), melted butter, steak sauce and mayonnaise. Yes, we deep fried red meat and dipped it in butter and mayonnaise. Those were very different days,
At some point when my parents were moving, I absconded with the fondue set. Six well worn forks, a small pot and the electric burner it sits on. When my sons were young, we introduced them to the method and they took to it right away. We used it about twice a year and it became such a favorite that one of my boys chose for the family to go to The Melting Pot (a fondue restaurant) for a special occasion. We’ve since added additional forks and fondue plates.
After several visits to The Melting Pot, I moved from using the hot oil to a broth recipe that they use: Court Bouillon Broth.
Making the broth is easy. I try to use better cuts of beef as they don’t cook for very long and I don’t want it to be chewy.
Our choice of sauces has improved over the years as well. In addition to the ketchup, yellow mustard and steak sauce, I routinely add teriyaki, soy, buffalo, ranch, spicy brown mustard and will often add whatever else I have in the house (peanut sauce, General Tso). While we are still using beef, long gone is the melted butter and mayonnaise.
Bring the broth to a rolling boil and then drop the heat back down.
Fondue – Court Boullion Broth
- 5 ½ C warm water
- 3 Tbsp finely chopped onion
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped celery
- 1 Tbsp chopped carrot
- 2 Tbsp kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp freshly ground pepper
- 2 tsp garlic powder
Whisk the water, onion, celery, carrot, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a bowl until combined.
Pour into a fondue pot. Bring to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat. Thread a piece of meat or vegetable on a fondue fork. Cook in the broth to the desired degree of doneness. Serve with your favorite sauce. Recommended dipping accompaniments: Seafood, beef, ravioli and gourmet veggies.