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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Meat Fondue or Fondue Bourguignonne with Béarnaise Sauce

It's been a long time since we have had meat fondue for New Year's Day, but this year my daughter requested it as her husband has never had it.

We used to always have this as a fun and celebrating meal on New Year Day when the kids were teenagers.  A great way to start the year!  My husband was always in charge of the pot of hot oil.  
Peanut oil is the best as it smokes at a higher temperature than other oils, canola works well too. Both oils are also lower in saturated fat and high in polyunsaturated and monosaturated fats, making it healthy to use.

Yet this information doesn't make me any more comfortable having a hot pot of boiling oil on the table!

The set up is easy, cutting a marbled piece of meat into cubes. Then everyone cooks their own meat using fondue forks. The rule is not to over crowd people around the table.
We usually use only beef, but have had chicken, pork and shrimp included to be deep fried.  

As sides, one needs a salad and potatoes.  Make a lot of salad as it does go well with the fondue. This year in place of roasted potatoes, we used the Twice Baked Potatoes   

Along with the sides, an assortment of condiments makes the fondue more interesting

Little dishes were filled with dijon mustard, hot sauce, regular mustard, mayo with the favourite being Béarnaise sauce. 

The tiny dishes hold Béarnaise Sauce. 

This year, in place of Sterno Cooking fuel cans, we used our tabletop burner.  Before, we had to continually heat the pot of oil on the stove as the temperature was not keep hot using the cans of sterno.  With the tabletop burner, the heat was kept more constant but needed to be turned right down to decrease the sound of sizzling hot meat! 

Twice Baked Potatoes and Caesar Salad

My husband has been making Béarnaise sauce from "The New Complete Book of Cookery" by Tee Vee Books first published in Canada 1970. From the chapter on sauces by Neville Baker, my husband has successfully been making the Béarnaise Sauce and did again this New Year's Day

The caption under Béarnaise Sauce is that this sauce was made for Henry IV of France and can be used with many dishes. It is a lovely sauce with great taste, does go very well with beef and does impress!

Béarnaise Sauce 

2/3 c white wine
2 T vinegar
2T finely chopped onion
1/2 tsp dried Tarragon
1 tsp finely chopped parsley 
2 peppercorns crushed
4 eggs yolks
1 c calcified butter

Combine wine, vinegar, onion, tarragon , parsley and peppercorn in a small sauce pan, simmer until reduced to 1/3 of the original amount.  Cool

Mix the egg yolks and place in a double boiler over simmering water and the strained vinegar, wine mixture, stirring constantly.  Gradually add the clarified butter, stirring continuously until it is a thick consistency.  

You know that it is a good recipe if it has handwritten notes and stains

The original recipe used 3 egg yolk, but the size of eggs seems to be smaller, so 4 yolks are used
If the sauce curdles or separates, add  2-3 T of cold water and whisk hard to emulsify the sauce or until it becomes smooth again.
My husband also mentions for best results make the full quantity 
This year, I ran out of tarragon and all though it suggested pinch of fennel seed or anise seed for each teaspoon of Tarragon, my husband used oregano.  Although not as great a flavor you get from tarragon, it was lovely with beef. 
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