What Makes A German Meat Fondue Unique?

Person chopping onion on cutting board
Person chopping onion on cutting board - Pressmaster/Shutterstock

On a cold winter's day in Germany, nothing warms up a party quite like fleischfondue, a meat fondue that combines the comfort of steaming homemade broth with the fortitude of skewered pork, beef, sausage, and other types of meat, plus some veggies for good measure. The broth, which usually simmers at just over 200 degrees Fahrenheit, cooks meat more slowly than oil-based fondues, but the flavor payoff is absolutely worth it. Think of it as a German take on Chinese hot pot.

The aromatic broth, which is often made with the usual suspects of a classic vegetable soup, is what makes fleischfondue so unique. Alliums like onion and leek marry with carrot, celery, vegetable stock, bay leaves, and whole black peppercorns — and all that flavor gets soaked into whatever goes into the pot. If you can't make it to Deutschland this winter (where it remains a popular culinary tradition during holidays), consider buying a case of kölsch, brushing up on your fondue etiquette, and inviting half a dozen of your closest friends over for a fleischfondue party.

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It's Less Work Than You Think

Meat in fondue pot
Meat in fondue pot - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

If you make vegetable broth often, you might already have the ingredients for the base of a classic fleischfondue in your fridge. To kick things off, you can brown your halved onion in a large saucepan, with or without oil. Carrots, leeks, celery, peppercorns, and stock (plus any other ingredients you fancy in your vegetable broth) go in next; then let them simmer for around 15 minutes or so. Once you strain it and transfer it to your fondue pot, it will be time to prep your meat and vegetables.

Bratwurst and other types of German sausage would obviously be welcome, but you can use any meat you like -- just make sure to keep the raw stuff on a dedicated plate to avoid cross-contamination. Once you choose your fighters, cut them into bite-sized pieces and skewer them with fondue sticks, along with any vegetables you want in the mix. If you're working with ground meat, tradition would have you form it into small meatballs after seasoning it with a beaten egg, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and paprika.

At this point, it's almost party time. But it wouldn't be a fleischfondue fête without a couple of homemade sauces.

Sour Cream And Onion Dip, Fleischfondue Style

Sour cream and chive dip
Sour cream and chive dip - Diana Taliun/Shutterstock

Having a few sauces and condiments on the table is essential to any fleischfondue party. Without them, you'd simply be eating plain, unsalted meat and vegetables, which does not sound like a party anyone would want to attend. Luckily, you don't need to follow an exact recipe to throw a couple of fleischfondue sauces together. With that in mind, there are just three words to remember when going off-book: creamy, tangy, and bright.

For starters, you can't go wrong with sour cream and chives. Stir in some lemon juice, salt and pepper, and a sprinkle of paprika for an elevated sour cream and onion dip. For something with a bit more freshness, mix your favorite herbs (such as parsley or cilantro) with shallot, garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes for a simple chimichurri. A garlicky homemade aioli would also be nice, as would plain Dijon mustard.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.