Pieces of fudge

Beef Fudge inspired by a midcentury modern food blogger.

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There have been many foodie discussions in The Berkshire Eagle features department. And, why wouldn’t there be? And out of many of the discussions come food page and column ideas, and sometimes a “let’s make it, just for the heck of it.”

From these discussions came our slider tasting, not your ordinary sliders, but sliders topped with peanut butter and jelly or sandwiched between a sweet, sticky cinnamon bun. And who could forget the hot dog taste testing — especially the skunk dawg with peanut butter, marshmallow sauce and chocolate sauce? Certainly not our stomachs.

And then there was Meggie Baker’s peanut butter and potato candy. “Ugh” was our first thought, too, but how wrong we were! So when Meggie asked us if we had seen a YouTube video, featuring Emmymade, on making beef fudge, we had to try it.

I first went to the blog, midcenturymenu.com, by Retro Ruth where Emmymade had found the recipe. According to Retro Ruth, the recipe book was written by the wives of Polled Hereford cattle farmers in Montana and, rightfully so, is beef-centric. Retro Ruth wrote, “Maybe if you are the wife of a rancher and you have beef coming out of your ears, you think up ways to use it. Any way to use it. The book is crammed with recipes like this, with beef in everything from bread, to fudge, to cake and brownies.”

Since I didn’t need or want 50 to 60 pieces of fudge — quite possibly disgusting fudge — I halved the recipe, which I might add is your basic marshmallow fudge recipe with the beef bits added.

BEEF FUDGE

(From Florence E. Weist — “Poll-Ette Hostess Cookbook," 1967)

Yield: 50 to 60 servings 

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 pound butter (2 sticks)

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1 large can evaporated milk

4 cups sugar

12 ounces chocolate chips

2 cups marshmallow fluff

2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup cooked ground roast beef, crusty, dry parts removed and only seasoned with salt

1 cup chopped walnuts

DIRECTIONS:

Cook butter, milk and sugar for 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips and marshmallow fluff until melted. Stir in vanilla and ground beef roast and walnuts. Beat until firm and pour into a well-greased 9-by-13-inch pan.

Note from the recipe's author: "This fudge keeps real well and the beef takes away some of the sweetness and yet adds nutrition. This is the only kind my family cares for anymore. An elegant way to use up leftover roast beef. Try it today!"

Retro Ruth’s verdict?

“This fudge was really good. In fact, it was better than the non-beef portion of fudge that I had pulled out and set aside in case the beef fudge turned out to be a pile of … beef fudge. But the beef fudge was BETTER than the fudge that did NOT have beef in it … It gave the fudge a nice depth of flavor and a complexity that was a shock. It also gave it a good level of salty that we appreciated. And, as the recipe writer claimed, it did dial down the sweetness significantly. It was also smoother in texture and slightly more gooey than the non-beef fudge … It was shockingly good.”