Fun with Fondue #33 - How to Choose Meat for Oil Fondue
September 26, 2015
Hello from sunny Buenos Aires!
A few months ago, I talked about Dulce de Leche or Manjar Blanco and I've since completely fallen in love with this sweet dessert that's part of the Argentinian culture.
It's a wonderful spread on croissants (or
medialunas, toast, etc.), it goes well with ice cream, and the local heladerías (ice cream shops) also offer various dulce de leche ice creams with added goodness like chocolate, nuts, etc. If you haven't tried dulce de leche (in fondue form or not), I highly recommend you get yourself a few cans of condensed milk and give this super simple recipe a try.
Argentinian food culture also revolves around wine and meat, especially beef. So, in this month's newsletter, we'll talk about how to choose your meat for oil fondue (or fondue bourguignonne).
Fondue Tip of the Month
Choosing Beef for Oil Fondue
Fondue Bourguignonne or oil fondue is all about frying delicious cubes of meat in oil (normally peanut, vegetable or canola, but you can use clarified butter. More information here.)
But you don't want your meat to be tough!
So how do you avoid that?
First, do NOT use stewing meat. You'll need to purchase tender cuts of beef, such as tenderloin or filet mignon, and cut your meat into bite-sized cubes. Normally, the more tender a cut, the more expensive it is, although this rule of thumb won't work when there are sales. Here's a good visual representation of beef tenderness by cuts provided by Kraft:
You'll want to purchase about 1/2 pound (or 1/4 kg) of beef per person, but you can adjust that quantity based on your menu or appetite of your guests. (Will people be full after your appetizer? Are your guests coming back from a long hike outdoors?)
If you're on a limited budget, you could purchase a less tender cut of beef, cut it in bite-sized pieces, and then let it marinate overnight to tenderize it. However, if you go this route, make sure to pat dry your meat before placing it on your dinner table. Marinated meat will often splatter much more than "plain meat."
Monthly Recipe Idea
Keeping with the previous tip (and with cooler temperatures slowly taking over the northern hemisphere), I recommend you try fondue bourguignonne this month:
You can also cook other types of meat (or veggies) in the same fondue pot (pork, chicken, etc.)
Don't forget to select three dips to go along and prepare an appetizer (optional) and side dishes like a salad, potato dish, etc. If you want a full and perfectly paired menu, you may be interested in purchasing my French-inspired Beef Oil fondue guide. You'll get the complete French-inspired menu (with perfectly paired dips, appetizer, side dishes and dessert along with drink recommendations), invitations, nutritional information, timeline (so everything is ready when your guests arrive), and much more.