Since how else would you want to celebrate an American holiday by making an iconic Canadian snack and drinking Canadian beer?
Irony aside, remember when we were on the hunt for the best poutine in Montreal? Well since then, we haven’t found a comparable poutine in the States. We’ve come across some poor photocopies at some questionable diners and bars, where they use a brown gravy you’d find on meatloaf, and (gasp!) mozzarella cheese.
So when J. and I came across fresh cheese curds at the farmer’s market, we thought it would be a fun project to make poutine at home. And by “we,” I mean, mostly me. J. did help with the eating, though. And washing the dishes.
When we got home, I did my “research” (i.e. google search for poutine recipes), and found this recipe from the Food Network, seemed to be the most straightforward, and authentic.
And then I got to work. First cutting up the potatoes into french fries….
(The recipe says to cut them into 1/4 inch slices. I do not have a mandoline or the patience to do this with a knife so I cut them more into 1/2 inch slices. This yielded not as crispy fries as I would have liked. Next time, I will cut the potatoes thinner. Or buy a mandoline.)
And then I soaked the potatoes in cold water for a few hours. (According to the recipe, this makes them nice and crispy.)
I went off to do some boring lawyerly work at a coffee shop. (Zzzzz….)
And came home to start making the gravy!
Here is another point where I strayed from the recipe. The recipe says to let the gravy simmer for 20 minutes. I found that after 20 minutes it was still very thin. So I let it simmer for close to an hour. Which made for a very tasty, but thick sauce that was hard to strain the peppercorns and onion bits. I also felt that it did not yield enough sauce at the end. If I were to do this again, I would probably strain the gravy after 20 minutes and then bring it back to a simmer to thicken up, but not as thick as it was this time.
What the gravy looked like after simmering for close to an hour.
While the gravy was simmering, I deep fried the potatoes in batches and drained them on paper towels….
And then fried them again for extra crispiness.
Lightly fried up some chopped up Canadian bacon. (This was an addition that I added from the recipe).
And plated it up!
Another note for the next time is, to figure out how to keep the fries warm so that the cheese curds will become nice and melty.
Since there will be a next time.
Because how could you not try this again?