What Is Poutine?

5900 the daily meal
Poutine. Photo: The Daily Meal

Poutine originated in Warrick, Quebec in the 1950s. It’s a very simple recipe of french fries, cheese curds, and gravy. The heat from the gravy melts the cheese to create a ridiculously delicious melty dish. When I visited Quebec a couple years ago, every restaurant we visited had their own awesome version, according to Jocook.

Some of these include bacon, cheesy lobster, pulled pork, Jerk chicken, even butter chicken! My poutine recipe is basic, true to its roots, and authentic with doubled fried french fries, loaded with cheese curds and smothered in a delicious homemade gravy. Let’s get started!

RECIPE

5858 poutine britannica
Delicious Poutine. Photo: Britannica

Serves: 6

Takes: 1 hr 30 mins

Ingredients

1.5kg King Edward potatoes, skins left on

1 litre chicken stock

50g unsalted butter

70g flour

4 sprigs fresh thyme

280g fresh cheddar curds

METHOD

1. Cut the potatoes into chips, either with a sharp knife or using a chipper (smaller chips are optimal for poutine — 9mm by 9mm is the ideal size).

2. Tip the chips into a large pot and wash under cold running water until the water in the pot becomes clear (this will remove any excess starch and help the chips avoid sticking together). Set the pot over a high heat and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook the chips for around 20 mins until they’re just falling apart.

3. Lift the chips out of the pot using a slotted spoon and place on a tray with a cooling rack, then transfer to the freezer to cool (this ensures a crispier chip).

0041 poutine close up serious eats
Poutine. Photo: Serious Eats

4. Meanwhile, make the gravy. Heat two-thirds of the chicken stock over a high heat until boiling. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pot set over a medium heat, then add the flour and cook for around 20 mins until it forms a brown roux (this will give you a darker, richer gravy). Pour in the remaining cold chicken stock and turn to a low heat. Whisk the mixture, making sure to get all the roux from the bottom of the pot, then pour in the hot stock. Bring to the boil, add the thyme and reduce to a low simmer. Cook for 10 mins, then strain the gravy through a fine sieve and season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm until ready to serve.

5. Set the deep fryer to 150C and take the chips out of the freezer. Blanch half the chips in the fryer for 4 mins, then arrange them on the wire rack once again; repeat with the remaining chips. Turn the fryer to 180C, then fry the chips once again until crisp and golden brown. Transfer the chips to a mixing bowl, toss well and season with salt.

6. Set half the chips in a bowl and top with half the cheese curds, then top with the remaining chips and curds. Pour over the gravy, making sure to cover all the cheese curds, and serve immediately, as reported by National Geographic.

Tips for Making the Best Poutine

A good gravy is the key to a good poutine. If you don’t have any pan drippings follow my recipe here for making your own gravy from scratch. Make sure the gravy is nice and hot to soften and melt the curds. You also want your gravy to be nice and thick so that it sits on top of the curds and melts them.

Make sure the cheese curds are at room temperature. They need to be soft and slightly melted, so having them at room temperature is the key for them to start melting as soon as you pour gravy on them.

Assemble your poutine quickly. Top the fries with a healthy portion of the cheese curds, then make sure your gravy is nice and hot when you pour it over the cheese.

You can also top your poutine with other toppings, such as sautéed mushrooms (as seen in the picture above), pulled pork, bacon, etc.

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