Meat Fondue or Hot Pot for Christmas?

Some swear by oil, others don't use anything but soup. Some prefer fish-broth, melted cheese or even chocolate sauce. I'm talking about fondue, the communal dish which exists in many variations from savoury to sweet and has had a steadily growing fan base for decades. Sharing food with friends!

This time around, I'm focusing specifically on the meat fondue, our ultimate family dinner on Christmas Eve. At least in my family, no one wants to see anything else on the table that day. Making fondue is a sizzling piece of work, whether you prepare the chunks of meat in oil or boiling soup. In my experience, soup works better and is gentler to the meat. Whether the preference is for beef, veal, pork, chicken or turkey, soup works just as fast as oil but the cooking process is a bit more relaxed. Chicken has to be cooked all the way through, the other pieces of fillet are better enjoyed medium or even medium rare. Soup also gives you a bit more control and seasons the meat at the same time as cooking it. And at the end of the evening, what was initially a relatively neutral vegetable broth will have transformed into a strong, beefy bouillon to be used for the following day's brunch.
It doesn't matter which way you go, a fondue dish isn't perfect until you have your dips. Only the finest fondue sauces make for a sublime fondue experience. I would like to introduce my five favourites below - from spicy to mild.

  • Ideal for beef, veal or fish

Sauce tartare

Herb sauce with sour cream

  • Spicy partner to a pork fillet

Garlic sauce

Savoury paprika and chilli sauce

  • Delicious with chicken and turkey 

Curry and banana dip

Lingonberry sauce

Hot Pot

Not so in love with meat or fish fondue? You want something simple but full of flavours, preferably something like a stew? Vegetarian or vegan maybe? Whatever your preference, you can't go wrong with a Hot Pot. This sneaky little number is the ideal alternative to the classic fondue, offering something for everyone. Hot Pots are ideal for winter, when eating warming meals in a cozy atmosphere is what we all want the most. The Hot Pot is always the right choice, whether it's vegetarian or vegan, whether you're using fish or meat. In this dish, any ingredients you choose will unfold their full flavour spectrum. Fillets of meat, fish or even seafood can be added spontaneously. The basis of a Hot Pot is: vegetables, herbs and rice noodles. Hot Pots with an Asian flavouring can be supplemented with the finest cuts of chicken, beef, fish and seafood.

I hope you all have Merry Christmas and a quiet, festive holiday!
All the best,



Photos (c) Julia Stix for MAXIMA Gourmet Extra, food styling and recipe creation by Eva Fischer


Meat Fondue and Hot Pot

4 Portions


Basic Beef Broth

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 1kg beef bones
  • 1 beef shoulder piece, rump or shank
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 50g celery root
  • 30g celery stalks
  • 1 leek
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 yellow carrots
  • 5 litres of water
  • 10g white peppercorns
  • 5g juniper berries
  • 5g allspice
  • 1 clove
  • 2 bayleaves
  • 2 bunches parsley
  • 100g salt

Meat Fondue

Ingredients for 4 people:

Ingredients Beef Broth:

  • 1 litre beef broth
  • 100g ground beef
  • 20g celery root
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 tsp white peppercorns
  • 2 twigs thyme
  • 2 egg whites
  • 50ml Sherry to taste

Meat ingredients:

  • 200g chicken breast
  • 200g beef fillet or sirloin steak
  • 200g pork tenderloin
  • vegetables to taste (like mushrooms etc.)

Red Curry Soup

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 500ml chicken broth
  • 500ml coconut milk
  • 30g red curry paste
  • 25g oyster sauce
  • 10g fish sauce
  • 1,5 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1 lime
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 5 lime leaves
  • 20g fresh ginger
  • 1 chilli pepper
  • 5 TBSP sesame oil
  • 1 spring onions
  • fresh coriander


Ingredients for the Hot Pot:

Ingredients for the soup:


  • 250g oyster mushrooms
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into half moons
  • 150g broccoli
  • 150g cauliflower
  • 300g Chinese cabbage
  • 150g Pak Choi
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach
  • 150g mini corn-on-the-cobs, pre-cooked
  • 600g thin rice noodles

Fish and Sea Food

  • 400g unshelled prawns
  • 400g calamari
  • 200g cod fillet, chopped into small pieces
  • 200g salmon fillet, chopped into small pieces
  • soy sauce and sweet and sour sauce to taste

Chicken Broth:

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 2 chicken carcasses
  • 2 white onions
  • 50g root celery
  • 30g celery stalks
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 yellow carrot
  • 20g mushrooms
  • 3 litres of water
  • 5g white peppercorns
  • 5g juniper berries
  • 5g coriander seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 bunches parsley
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 50g salt


Basic recipe for beef broth:

  1. Bring water to the boil. Parboil the bones in the water for around 20 seconds, then remove and rinse with cold water. Put 5 litres of cold water in a pot and add the bones again. Slowly bring to a rolling boil. In the meantime, wash, peel and chop the vegetables into pieces around 1cm in size. Halve the onions, leave them unpeeled and roast them in a frying pan until golden. When the bones have started to boil, scum will come to the surface of the pot. Skim it off occasionally with a ladle.
  2. Now add the vegetables, onions and herbs, bring to the boil again and add the meat. Depending on the size of the cut, let the broth simmer over a low flame for at least 2 hours.
  3. When the meat has cooked, the soup can be strained through a fine sieve.

Preparation of meat fondue:

  1. Peel the vegetables and cut into small pieces. Combine with the ground beef, the spices and the thyme. Add egg whites and sherry and mix well. Add a few ice cubes and combine with the beef broth - it needs to be quite cold.
  2. In a large, high-sided pot, bring the liquid slowly to a rolling boil over a low flame. Stir gently until the egg whites form a semi-solid batter, at which point you can stop stirring. Leave to simmer over a low flame for around an hour.
  3. Strain through a muslin cloth and, to prepare the fondue, re-heat in the fondue pot.
  4. Pick up the raw pieces of meat with your fondue forks and let them cook in the beef broth. Serve with the dips.

Preparation of red curry soup: 

  1. Peel and finely chop the onion, garlic and ginger. Cut the chilli into small pieces. Press down on the lemongrass stalks with the back of your knife and then slice them finely.
  2. Heat up the sesame oil in a wide-bodied pan and fry the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli pepper. Then add the lemongrass and keep frying. Sprinkle with brown sugar and let the mixture caramelise lightly.
  3. Add the curry paste and fry briefly. Deglaze with the fish and oyster sauces, bring to the boil for a second and immediately add the chicken broth and coconut milk. Add the lime leaves and let the mixture simmer over a low flame for around 25 minutes.
  4. Strain through a fine sieve and pour into the Hot Pot. Finely slice the spring onions, chop the coriander and add both to the red curry soup.

Preparation of the Hot Pot:

  1. Arrange the vegetables and fish on plates.
  2. Now add vegetables, fish and (preferably as the last ingredient) the rice noodles to the hot soup and wait until cooked through. Use a special Hot Pot ladle to fish out the pieces and put the ingredients you like into a small bowl. Enjoy the soup with an Asian soup spoon and season with soy and sweet and sour sauces to taste.