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Swiss Fondue Feast

For as long as I can remember, our family has enjoyed this fondue feast every Christmas Eve, and some of my very happiest memories are centered around this meal. Our family tradition of fondue feasts began in Vail, Colorado sometime in the early 1960s. My grandparents had bought a vacation home in the Alps-like village of Vail and frequently enjoyed eating in the Swiss and Austrian restaurants after skiing. They developed a love for fondue, and started the Christmas Eve tradition of serving fondue feasts at family gatherings. 

I have so many amazing memories of this meal . . . the most vivid memory is of me and my sister begging my grandpa every single year to just let us open one present after dinner. He always caved and let us open one present . . . and sometimes even snuck into the other room with us and let us open another one. Sixty years later, my family still lovingly adheres to this tradition, and likely will continue celebrating around this memory-making meal for generations to come. 

Although we enjoy this meal on Christmas Eve, it’s definitely appropriate for any wintertime occasion. This meal is guaranteed to make everyone smile and will result in creating unforgettable memories!

Ingredients and directions:

Cheese fondue:

1 clove of garlic

1.5 lbs. grated Gruyere or Emmental cheese

1 c. dry white wine

2 Tbsp. kirsch liqueur

Pinch of nutmeg

Before adding cheese to the fondue pot, cut the garlic clove in half and rub it all over the inside of the pot. Turn on the heat to medium and add the wine. When the wine is simmering, slowly add the cheese and stir until smooth. Add the kirsch and nutmeg. Stir again. Turn the heat to low and enjoy! I recommend serving with a baguette.

Beef fondue:

2 lb. sirloin

½ c. soy sauce

½ c. corn oil

3 cloves of garlic

½ c tomato juice

½ c. brown sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Two days before cooking, cut the sirloin into bite-sized pieces in a glass container along with all of the ingredients listed above. Allow the meat to marinate in the refrigerator until it’s time to cook so that the flavor really sets in. 

To cook beef fondue, fill the fondue pot half way with corn oil. Turn the fondue pot to medium high. Using fondue forks, cook the meat in the pot until it is cooked to your liking. Serve with a sour cream horseradish dipping sauce (just simply mix raw horseradish with sour cream to taste). 

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