CASUAL COOKERY



Memory Lane

A Beef Fudge Recipe


My grandfather meant a lot to me. He was basically my surrogate father when I was young. He taught me all about baseball, played catch with me, and patiently reset the ball on the tee ad nauseum so I could practice my batting game. He taught me archaic games like carroms and let me win at checkers. He was the one who taught me how to ride a bike.
That's why when he was turning 95, his birthday in less than a week, we had to dust off grandma's old cookbook and make our ingredients list. A 95th birthday, of course, called for something quite special indeed and this tantalizing treat has been gramps' sole birthday wish for going on decades now. It has become such a tradition in our family tha- Holy shit, no one actually cares about this, do they?


beef fudge

I know this sentimental bit at the beginning of recipes is the bane of the recipe seeker's existence, but how else are we poor bloggers going to provide ample page space for those sweet, sweet targeted ads? I guess I could put some sort of "jump to the recipe" link here for your convenience, but if you've read this far, you're in it with me now baby.
Maybe you should click some of those ads. Someone's got to pay for this shit. Maybe you're wondering if even a single thing I wrote about my grandpa is true. Maybe you're wondering if this entire page is a farce because of how asinine this recipe is. Maybe you think I'm a joke. You think I'm a fucking joke? Maybe I should ask myself why I got so combative all of a sudden. Or maybe, we should all just calm down and enjoy this take on ol' grandad's favorite: Beef Fudge.



Beef Fudge


Now, I know what you're thinking. Florence E. Weist is a fucking sociopath and her degenerate family, who now refuse to have their fudge any other way, are a twisted band of reprobates who would be mouthing these words if they were to try and read this. Well, that's not a very nice thing for you to be thinking, but this beef fudge business does sound like... real weird, man. I mean, walnuts?
You're probably thinking that I'm equally unhinged, seeing as I'm the one who's spending their own time and money to make this ridiculous meme food and post about it on my inane website, but in my defense, this is being done purely in the name of culinary science. I am pushing the very limits of good taste and sussing out the extent to which a foodstuff may be innoculated with foreign matter and still dare call itself "fudge." The best part is that YOU can join me on this ground breaking scientific endeavor. We can see where this journey takes us, together. You in? Cool. We're going to be omitting those walnuts (fuck them walnuts) so let's take a look at the ingredients we will be using.


ingredients

Here we've got some chocolate chips, marshmallow creme, evaporated milk, roast beef I've run through the blender, vanilla, sugar (not pictured), and butter. This is in no way healthy, no matter what Florence says. "The beef takes away some of the sweetness and yet adds nutrition" lookin' ass. I learned that expression from the only black person who will talk to me.


ground beef

First we're going to want to grind up our beef so we have that ready to go. Then, it says to cook the butter, milk, and sugar "until it forms a ball in cold water." I have no idea what the fuck that's supposed to mean. Okay, hold on. A cursory Google search tells me that the "softball" stage is a stage of candy making where the candy will form a soft ball if you drop a bit of it in cold water. Something, something 235 degrees, something, something candy thermometer...right. I don't currently have access to a candy thermometer because my fucking housemate took mine claiming he needed it for an "experiment." Knowing him, I am better off unaware of the particulars, but what I can say for certain is that that thermometer should never be near food again.


first ingredients in

Writing this before my attempt, I'm cautiously optimistic about how it's going to turn out. I'ma level with you. I've never made fudge before and my first attempt, success or failure, is what's going up. I don't have the time or resources to re-do a recipe until it's perfect so here's hoping it's not a complete waste. I would rhetorically ask how hard it could possibly be, but my candy making record has been 0 for 1 so far and that defeat was so crushing that I haven't been able to show my face at a PTA meeting since. Here goes.


bubbling pot

I return having gained much candy making knowledge. When you start out with the milk, sugar, and butter you want to stop stirring as soon it starts boiling and just let it be. Keep the boil going and it will eventually start to darken, reduce, and thicken into a carmel, which is pretty dope. This point is about when you want to start thinking about pulling it from the heat. I still have no idea how to successfully perform the softball test so made a barely educated guess. The whole process took about half an hour, but I was worried I was going to burn it so I kept reducing the heat to keep it just at a boil. If you were to continue boiling at this stage you will eventually make toffee. Neat.
Once off the heat, immediately add the marshmallow, chocolate chips, vanilla, and beef and start stirring vigorously. You'll want to keep on churnin' til the mix stiffens and loses its shine. You might notice that mine is still shiny. I read somewhere that if you pour it into your pan before it loses it's luster it will be smoother and mine turned out pretty smooth. Once you decide you've had enough stirring, pour the fudge into a well greased pan and set it aside to cool down enough to put it in the fridge so it can further solidify. If it doesn't all fit in your pan, the remainder would make an excellent chocolate sauce seeing as it is, quite literally, hot fudge.


left over hot fudge


The Final Product


And there, for better or worse, we have it. Beef Fudge. Turns out it tastes pretty good. There's definitely some beefiness to it, but it's subtle. Like the flavor of a La Croix. It mostly just tastes like chocolate fudge, though. I will admit that I didn't fully stick the landing here. I don't know if it was because I used cold cuts or if I just ground the beef up too much, but I'm not really feeling the texture. It's reminiscent of shredded coconut except instead of tropical fruit in your candy, it's chewy bits of cow. I also made the mistake of stirring it after it had started boiling which increases the size of the sugar crystals and makes the fudge a bit crunchy. Mine suffered from this a little, but it's far from inedible.


completed fudge

All in all, I'm chalking this one up as a win. I tried something new and learned a thing or two and isn't that just what cooking's all about? Even though I will probably never make this particular kind of fudge again, I am now confident in my candy making abilities. The next time I make a dessert it will be marched, proudly, right into that PTA potluck.


fudge, beef fudge


The Recipe


Beef Fudge

1. Pulse your roast beef in a blender until it's thoroughly ground.
2. Bring the butter, sugar, and evaporated milk to a rolling boil over medium high heat. Boil without stirring until the temp reaches 235 degrees F.
3. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate chips, marshmallow creme, beef, and vanilla. Beat it until it firms up and loses its shine.
4. Pour the mixture into a well greased 8x13 pan and let it sit until it cools down enough to put in the refridgerator. Keep it in there until it sets.