During your late night binges of Food-Network-watching or surfing the internet for new things to cook (or are we the only ones who do this??), you might’ve run across a delightful treat called poutine (pronounced poo-teen).
A common Canadian dish originating in Quebec, these French fries topped with cheese curds and a light brown gravy are rich and delicious.
What!? Brown gravy on fries!? … Don’t turn your nose up. Just trust us!
I (Jonathan) have always been curious to try poutine. Those who put in the effort to make it always say it’s incredible, and it’s just such a fun, party-style dish. After finally making some, I can safely say that poutine is definitely worthy of all the hype. It’s a dish I’d love to try again and again until I master it.
Think of it as the cheese fries of the great white North! You won’t be disappointed.
What You Need
- 2 large russet potatoes
- Cheese curds
Tip: If you can’t find cheese curds (we couldn’t at the time), you can use fresh mozzarella pearls.
- 1 cup flour
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 3 cups beef broth
- Beef bouillon
- Vegetable oil (if you want to fry the fries instead of bake them)
What You Do
- Prepare your fries.
A. Wash the potatoes well
B. Slice them up, fry-style.
C. Soak them in a bath of ice-water for an hour (or for as long as you can while you prepare the rest of the dish).
Tip: If you choose to BAKE the fries, get them in the oven on like 450 degrees as soon as you can instead of soaking them so they can be cooking while you make gravy.
- Make a light brown roux:
A. Melt a stick of butter in a skillet or sauce pan.
B. When the butter is bubbly, add flour to it.
C. Whisk it, A LOT, over medium heat until a thick paste forms. Keep whisking it until it’s smoother. Whisk whisk whisk for like 10+ minutes. You want it to turn light brown.
Tip: If you don’t whisk it enough over the heat, your brown gravy will be grainy.
- Add beef broth to the roux and whisk it in.4. Add small amounts of bouillon and TASTE IT each time.
Tip: Be CAREFUL because it’s easy to make it too salty fast. Taste it OFTEN.
- Dry the fries by putting them on paper towels and removing the excess moisture.
- Cook the fries. You can either fry or bake them.
Tip: We fried them in vegetable oil, but in hindsight, we would bake them. RESIST the urge to salt the fries. I made this mistake; just don’t do it. The beef gravy will be salty enough.
- Put it all together!
A. Place the fries on a large platter.
B. Distribute the cheese curds evenly over the fries.
C. Cover with gravy.
- EAT (and appreciate Canada a little more than you did before).
PS. I sauteed some baby portobello mushrooms with butter and salt to have with our poutine. There aren’t a whole lot of things better in this world than buttery sauteed mushrooms. The trick is to give them a lot of room in the skillet (even if you have to cook them in several batches) and not keep a lot of moisture in the pan while they cook.