How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Do you have a romantic dinner with your sweetheart? My husband, the beef farmer, always opts for a steak dinner. This year, we’re doing something different! We’re doing a beef hot oil fondue!
What is Hot Oil Fondue?
You’ve probably had chocolate fondue, where you dip strawberries, bananas, marshmallows, and other tasty ingredients into melted chocolate. You’ve probably enjoyed a good cheese fondue where you dip meats, veggies, and bread into delicious ooey gooey melted cheese.
Well, a beef oil fondue is simply beef cooked in hot oil and then dipped in whatever dipping sauce you wish and eaten with whatever vegetables or other side dishes you like. Hot oil fondue can be served with cheese fondue. Fondues are a fun shared dining experience, where everyone at the table can cook with the ingredients they want and at their own pace.
Firstly, you will need a fondue pot/fondue set and a fondue stand or a portable burner. You’ll need to place your pot over high heat and warm the oil until it reaches 375°F. Then, carefully move the pot of hot oil to your fondue stand or portable burner and keep the heat on low. Make sure that you maintain a temperature of 375°F. *NOTE – You can use a hot broth instead of oil if you want to try a different fondue experience.
For Hot Oil Fondue, you can use whatever meats you wish, but since we’re a beef farming family, we’re having beef. For the meat, you can cut the beef into bite-sized cubes or slice into thin strips. You want to make sure that the meat is not cut too big or too thick, because you’re cooking it in the hot oil and want to make sure it’s cooked properly.
A few beef cut options:
Grilling steak like Top Sirloin, Rib Eye, Rib, Tenderloin, or Striploin cut into 3/4 inch cubes or slices are good choices for this type of cooking. It’s also important to cut your tender beef cuts evenly. Why? Evenly cut pieces will cook more evenly with about the same cooking time.
Another pro tip is to make sure the meat is dry (I pat mine down with a paper towel). I do this to avoid splatter when the meat hits the oil. We all know that water and hot oil are not friends. Since we don’t want lots of splatter and we don’t want to get burned, make sure to pat down your meat.
What’s the best oil to use for hot oil fondue?
Use an oil with a high smoking point, such as canola or sunflower oil. It’s also important to select an oil that won’t impact the flavour of the foods cooked in the oil. Sunflower oil and canola oil are both good Canadian crop oils. Either will be a good choice for your hot oil fondue.
Another good idea is to make sure to have plates and a skewer or fork for each person, to avoid cross-contamination. Also, ensure that there’s a plate for the raw meat and a clean plate for the meat once it’s cooked. It’s important to note that oil fondues are heated to 375°F and cook small pieces of beef fairly quickly.
Beef (either thinly sliced or cut into bite sized cubes), about 8oz per guest
Vegetables that can be cooked quickly on a skewer in the oil (mushrooms, broccoli, bell pepper, etc)
Salt & black pepper to season
Oil for frying
Sauces for dipping (we like our friend, Farmer Ted’s Garlic Red Pepper Jelly as well as store bought Hoisin sauce) – The options for dipping sauces are endless! Use whatever dipping sauce, aolis, or herbed butters that you like.
*As mentioned earlier, he best beef cuts for fondue are grilling steak like Top Sirloin, Rib Eye, Rib, Tenderloin, or Striploin.
On a plate, place your sliced or cubed beef. Season with salt & black pepper.
Place 1 piece of cut/sliced beef on a skewer and immerse it in hot oil. Cook each piece of meat for 30 to 90 seconds, depending on how you like your meat cooked. My husband likes his beef rare, so he cooks his beef on the skewer in the hot oil for only 30 seconds. I like mine either medium to well-done, depending on my mood. For medium, cook for 45-60 seconds and for well-done, cook for 90 seconds.
Once cooked, remove from oil, let the oil drop off, and then dip in your sauce of choice.
Serve this beef hot oil fondue with your favourite bread like a baguette or slices of sourdough bread. I served ours with some pickles, pearl onions, olives, and basically items I’d serve on a charcuterie board – like some crumbled blue cheese, or aged Cheddar. I also roasted some baby potatoes to include as a side dish.
This is such a fun and interactive meal! If you try doing a beef hot oil fondue, let us know what you think!