New Year’s Eve Fondue Party: Meats, Cheeses, and Chocolates

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charcuterie fondue night

What’s Up, Hungry People

Fondue and charcuterie. Two essentially opposite concepts that go hand in hand. Fondue focuses on the ingredients while they are raw; charcuterie highlights completed elements that, when mixed and matched together, can complement each other beautifully. Both food styles serve as excellent conversation pieces—and for me, just another way to play with my food.

I love to fondue. Whether I’m dipping croustinis in hot brie or making a pizza fondue pot, there’s no end to the ways or things you can fondue. For NYE, I really want to put out a huge fondue spread for all our friends to gather around and cook their way into the New Year.

raw fondue ingredients

Here’s What You Need:

  • Ribeye steak or filet mignon: Provides rich flavor and tender texture to the fondue.
  • Shrimp: Adds a sweet, seafood option to diversify the fondue offerings.
  • Chicken breast or chicken legs: Offers a leaner meat option; legs add a juicier taste.
  • Pork meatballs: Bring a savory, hearty element to the meal.
  • Lemon: Brightens the dish with a zesty, fresh accent.
  • Vegetable oil: Used for cooking; ensures even frying without overpowering flavors.
  • Green sriracha: Delivers a vibrant kick with its spicy, tangy notes.
  • Garlic vinaigrette: Offers a bold, aromatic flavor to complement the meats.
  • Cranberry sauce: Provides a sweet, tart contrast to the savory meats.
  • Sweet mustard BBQ sauce: Adds a tangy sweetness, perfect for dipping.
  • Spicy Thai ginger sauce: Introduces a sharp, robust flavor to the array of sauces.
  • Panko: Gives the meatballs a light, crispy texture.
  • Thyme, paprika, pepper, salt: Seasonings that enhance the flavor of the pork meatballs.
  • Sweet & spicy pepperoni: Adds a kick of heat and sweet to the charcuterie board.
  • Cured meats: Include a variety of textures and flavors to the board.
  • Fancy cheeses: Offer a range of creamy to sharp flavors that pair well with meats and fruits.
  • Butter crackers, fresh bread: Serve as sturdy vehicles for all the toppings.
  • Fresh fruit: Adds a refreshing, sweet element to balance the savory.
  • Dark chocolate, white chocolate: Melt into rich, creamy fondues for dipping.
  • Cheesecake, graham crackers, marshmallows, strawberries: Provide a variety of textures and flavors for the chocolate fondue.
fondue meatballs

Let’s Fon-DO It!

The secret to a perfect fondue is offering a variety of meats. I prepared simple pork meatballs, succulent steak, juicy shrimp, and hearty chicken legs.

Any decent steak will do, but since I like to go all out at the year’s end, I splurged on some top-quality $25 per pound ribeye, and it was absolutely worth it!

fondue steak

In retrospect, I might have preferred marinated chicken breast cut into chunks over the legs, as they require more cooking time. However, if you’re not in a rush—and let’s face it, if you’re planning a fondue night, you’re probably all in—a batch of fryer-size chicken legs can be a fantastic addition.

ingredients for fondue

I also relish exploring a variety of sauces to dip my freshly cooked meat into—from zesty green sriracha and fiery ginger chili to sweet mustard BBQ sauce. Whatever your preferred sauces, they make perfect dipping companions!

sauces and dips for fondue night

On the other end of the table, a medley of dried and cured meats, crispy crackers, fresh bread, and vibrant fruits await. Tucked in the furthest corner, even desserts find a spot on my expansive charcuterie board.

fondue sweets

Charcuterie nights are always an adventure, especially when I hunt for the best deals. Opting for whatever’s on sale that day lets you experiment with some intriguing choices! For our dried meats, I selected an assortment of jerky and spicy pepperonis.

charcuterie dried meats

The ideal way to source cheeses for your charcuterie board is to delve into the sample or pre-cut selections often found in most grocery stores. These treasures, nestled in a special section of the fine cheese department, offer bits and pieces of larger cheeses at a fraction of the price.

charcuterie cheeses

And no fondue and charcuterie evening would be complete without a sweet touch—fresh strawberries and grapes provide a refreshing contrast when served alongside cheesecake, fluffy marshmallows, and crunchy graham crackers, all perfect for dipping into a lusciously melded pot of white and dark chocolate fondue.

chocolate fondue with fruits

Fondue Night Tips:

  • Choosing Your Fondue Pot: A good fondue pot should distribute heat evenly and maintain a consistent temperature. Electric fondue pots are ideal for meats as they typically offer better temperature control, ensuring that oil stays at a safe cooking temperature between 300°F and 350°F.
  • Prepping Meats: It’s important to cut meats like steak and chicken into uniform pieces to ensure even cooking. Bite-size pieces not only cook more uniformly but also make for easier, more enjoyable dipping and eating.
  • Sauce Selection: Feel free to experiment with different sauces to find what flavors best complement your selection of meats and accompaniments. Having a variety of sauce options allows guests to customize their experience and keeps the dining interactive and fun.
  • Cheese Board Assembly: When arranging a charcuterie board, consider texture and color contrasts to make the board visually appealing as well as delicious. Try to separate stronger-flavored cheeses and meats from milder ones to avoid overwhelming delicate flavors.
  • Dessert Dipping Tips: When preparing chocolate fondue, ensure both your dark and white chocolates are finely chopped for uniform melting. Using a double boiler can help manage the temperature and prevent the chocolate from burning.
  • Safety First: Always be cautious when using a fondue pot with hot oil or melted chocolate, especially around children. Keep a kitchen fire extinguisher handy, just in case, and make sure the fondue pot is stable on a flat surface to prevent spills.
fondue night with charcuterie
  • Steak:
    • Cook Time: 2-3 minutes for rare, 3-4 minutes for medium, 4-5 minutes for well done.
    • Recommended Internal Temperature: 135°F for medium rare, 145°F for medium, 160°F for well done.
  • Shrimp:
    • Cook Time: 1-2 minutes.
    • Shrimp should turn opaque and pink when fully cooked.
  • Chicken Legs:
    • Cook Time: 4-5 minutes.
    • Recommended Internal Temperature: 165°F.
  • Chopped Chicken Breast:
    • Cook Time: 2-4 minutes.
    • Recommended Internal Temperature: 165°F.
oil for fondue night

Happy New Year!

As the evening winds down and the last pieces of steak are dipped into our flavorful sauces, it’s hard not to feel a sense of satisfaction from this fondue and charcuterie experience. It’s more than just food; it’s a festive assembly of flavors that brings people together.

plated fondue food

Whether it’s the heartiness of the meatballs or the sweet finish of chocolate-dipped strawberries, there’s something wonderfully communal about cooking and enjoying food together. I’m already excited about putting this spread together again for New Year’s Eve—it’s the perfect way to ring in the new year. So, grab your fondue forks and let’s make this a tradition, every delicious bite at a time. Happy New Year, and here’s to many more fondue nights!

fondue recipes

DIY Fondue & Charcuterie Spread

The Starving Chef
Enjoy a deliciously interactive NYE with this complete fondue and charcuterie spread featuring meats, cheeses, and a dual chocolate fondue.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 1 hour
Assemble Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours
Course Charcuterie, Fondue
Cuisine Date Night, Fancy Food, Finger Food, Quick & Easy
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

FOR RAW FONDUE:

  • 16 oz ribeye steak or filet mignon cut into bite size pieces
  • 10 shrimp peeled & tail on
  • 16 oz chopped chicken breast or fryer legs
  • 10 pork meatballs recipe follows
  • 1 lemon sliced for spritzing
  • 1 cup vegetable oil + more as needed to fill fondue pot 1/2 way

FOR FONDUE SAUCES:

  • ½ cup green sriracha
  • ½ cup garlic vinaigrette
  • ½ cup cranberry sauce
  • ½ cup sweet mustard BBQ sauce
  • ½ cup spicy Thai ginger sauce

FOR PORK MEATBALLS:

FOR CHARCUTERIE BOARD INSPIRATION:

  • sweet & spicy pepperoni sliced
  • cured meats (jerkies, meat sticks, etc.)
  • variety "fancy" cheese (gouda, goat cheese, mozzarella, etc.)
  • butter crackers
  • fresh bread sliced
  • fresh fruit (grapes, strawberries, oranges, etc.)

FOR CHOCOLATE FONDUE:

Instructions
 

FOR MEAT FONDUE:

  • Heat oil in a fondue pot until shimmering – about 300°F to 350°F.
  • Season the steak and chicken with salt and pepper. Cut the steak into bite-size pieces. Peel the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Prepare the pork meatballs as per the recipe below.
  • Steak Cook Time: 2-3 minutes for rare, 3-4 minutes for medium, 4-5 minutes for well done.
  • Shrimp Cook Time: 1-2 minutes.
  • Chicken Cook Time (Chicken Legs): 4-5 minutes.
  • Chicken Cook Time (Chopped Chicken Breast): 2-4 minutes.
  • Spritz cooked items with fresh lemon, as desired. Serve with dipping sauces.

FOR PORK MEATBALLS:

  • Combine all ingredients for meatballs. Use a half tablespoon of the meat mixture to roll into individual, small meatballs. Chill until ready to cook in the hot oil. Bring to room temperature prior to cooking.
  • Pork Meatballs Cook Time: 3-4 minutes.

FOR CHARCUTERIE BOARD:

  • Spread out assorted meats and cheeses in various rows and piles, in a pleasing manner. Add pops of color from fruits between slices of cheese, meats, and crackers.

FOR CHOCOLATE FONDUE:

  • Melt the chocolates in the microwave before pouring into a warming pot. Swirl the melted chocolates together and use to dip your favorite desserts, fruits, and more.
Keyword charcuterie, fondue
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