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Pitchfork fondue new type of rural cookery
"Pitchfork Fondue" is the "hottest" new idea in rural cookery to come along in years, says Mery Brandt of Regina, Saskatchewan, who installs doors in commercial buildings by day but becomes a gourmet chef at night using nothing more than his trusty pitchfork and a giant cast iron pot filled with boiling oil.
Brandt can provide steak fondue for liter-ally hundreds of people at one sitting, cooking a fork full of large steaks in less than 3 min. by sticking and submerging them in hot oil. He got the idea while working in a small town where a local hotelier had a sign up promoting his own "pitchfork fondues".
"At first I thought the toughest part of the whole thing would be to find the cast iron pot that's necessary to hold the oil. It had to hold at least 40 gal. I knew farmers used to use such pots for rendering lard years ago so I decided to look for one by taking out an ad in a farm paper and calling our local radio station's flea market. Within no time, I had 20 pots to look at," says Brandt, who ended up buying 3 pots. "What I had perceived to be the hardest part of this venture actually turned out to be the easiest."
Launching a commercial pitchfork cookery has been a learning experience. He had to put together a promotional package and comply with certain health department regulations. He designed a larger outside sleeve for his pot to slip into which helps insulate it as oil inside reaches 375 to 400?. He heats the pot with a wood fire and constructed a portable A-frame shelter to protect from bad weather. He mounts everything on a new red horse trailer which was specially designed to carry his equipment.
Brandt's menu consists of 10-oz. rib eye steaks, homemade beans, coleslaw, ranch cut fries and watermelon for dessert.
Key to success is the oil recipe used in the fondue. Brandt won't reveal the kind of oil used since he only came up with it after he did a lot of research and he wants to protect himself from imitators of his service. He points out that the high heat sears the outside of the steaks instantly so very little oil actually penetrates the meat. Oil that clings to the outside of the steak is drained off before serving. He can hang about 20 steaks at a time from a single pitchfork. It takes 2 min. to cook them rare, 2 min. and 20 sec. to cook them medium, and 2 min. and 45 sec. to cook them well done. He charges $10.95 per person.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Mery Brandt, Box 190, Craven, Sask. SOG OWO Canada.
Reprinted from GRAINEWS, Winnipeg, Canada

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1992 - Volume #16, Issue #5