Today is Canada Day, so in honor of my Canadian husband, I’m sharing a uniquely Canadian dish: poutine (pronounced poo-teen). It’s French fries topped with cheese curds and brown gravy and it’s pretty much heaven on a plate. Poutine originated in Quebec and is widely available across Canada. If you ask me, it needs to be more widely available around the world. Discovering poutine may just be the number one perk to marrying a Canadian. If you’re thinking poutine doesn’t sound all that appetizing, don’t worry, I thought the same thing. And I could not have been more wrong. It is just so, sooooo good! Really, there are no words to describe this medley of cheesy potato and gravy goodness. Even when we cheat and use frozen French fries and prepared gravy, my family inhales this stuff. Of course, on a special occasion like Canada Day, we go all out with homemade poutine.
When making poutine, it’s very important that your gravy is very, very hot, so that it softens the cheese curds. A brown, beef based gravy is another important element of good poutine. And homemade French fries really do put things over the top. Look at it this way, how often do I share more than one photo of a recipe and go on like this? This stuff is the ultimate in indulgent, so-not-good-for-you-but-worth-every-calorie comfort food. I’ve included my favorite version of crispy baked French fries in this recipe for poutine, but you could certainly use your favorite recipe. The gravy in this recipe really does have an authentic poutine taste to it, so I definitely recommend giving it a try. And the white cheddar cheese curds are a must! I cannot think of a better way to wish all of my Canadian readers a happy Canada Day!
Poutine (French Fries with Cheese Curds and Gravy)
For the fries:
- 3-4 Russet potatoes
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the gravy:
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup flour
- 4 cups beef stock
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cups white cheddar cheese curds, room temperature
- Cut potatoes into sticks about 1/4 inch thick. Place in a large bowl and cover with hot water. Let stand 15-20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray generously with non-stick cooking spray.
- Drain water from potatoes and pat dry with a lint free cloth or paper towels. Place potatoes in a large bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of oil and salt and pepper.
- Arrange potatoes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until potatoes are golden brown. Flip the potatoes once, halfway through cooking.
- While the fries cook, prepare the gravy. Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add the shallots and garlic and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the flour and cook and stir for 1-2 minutes.
- Whisk in the stock, ketchup, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer the gravy until thickened, 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Arrange French fries on a plate or in a large bowl. Crumble the cheese curds over the hot fries and top with desired amount of hot gravy. Serve immediately.
Who Dished It Up First: The French Canadians. This recipe was adapted from Saveur.