19 October 2012


The chili cheese fries of the northern climes, poutine is a nod to our maple leaf toting neighbors.
I have the unfortunate task of writing this blogpost right before dinner time.  I didn't think I was hungry until I started looking through these photos.  Poutine is a simple Canadian dish made of fries covered in gravy and fried cheese curds.  I took a little shortcut and just used shredded cheese, but don't think for a second that this route was any less tasty.

Start out with a greased pan.  Good high heat oils include coconut oil, butter, and animal fats.  I used bacon fat, because bacon and fries make a great pair.  The first secret to great oven fries is the oil - too much and they'll be soggy, too little and they'll stick to the pan.  You can see about how thick this pan was covered - this is the perfect amount.
I like my fries sliced thick.  I used red potatoes, but feel free to change up the potato.  Sweet potatoes are a great option too.  The second secret to great oven fries is to keep them from touching each other when you lay them out.  This also helps them get crispier.
Put these in the oven at 425* for 20 minutes.  When the timer goes off, take them out, flip them all over, then put then in for another 20 minutes.  You can see how the side that was on the bottom gets nicely browned.
In the meantime, grate some cheese and make the gravy.  Start by browning some flour.  The way to brown flour is to use a ratio that is 1 part fat to 1 part flour on a med-high heat.  The fat starts to bubble and fry the flour a bit.  If it's too dry, add more fat (once again, I used bacon fat).
Slowly add to this 2 cups of beef broth.  I used the bone broth that I canned earlier this year.  Add just a little bit at first and stir it to mix so that you don't get clumps of flour. 
Let this simmer until thick.  Add some salt and pepper and any other spices that sound good.  Maybe some thyme sounds good.  I added a little southwest seasoning to it since I'd sprinkled some cayenne on the fries.  Speaking of which, those might be ready to come out of the oven soon.  Ahh, yes.
Tasty crispy crunchy goodness.  Time to put it all together.

  • Bacon fat
  • 3 lbs potatoes
  • 3 tbs whole wheat flour
  • 2 c beef broth
  • S&P to taste
  • cheese
1.  Preheat the oven to 425*F.  Lightly grease a large pan.  Lay out sliced potato wedges so that none are touching each other.  Put them in the oven for 40 minutes, turning them over at the 20 minute mark.
2.  Brown 3 tbs of flour in 3 tbs of bacon grease (about med-high heat for 2-3 minutes).  Add in 1/2 cup of broth and mix well to prevent clumping.  Add the remaining broth, salt and pepper.  Simmer until thick.
3.  Grate some cheese (don't buy pre-grated cheese because it's full of additives to keep it from clumping).
4.  Assemble your poutine:  fries, gravy, cheese. 
It wouldn't take too many tweaks to turn this into a vegetarian or vegan dish.

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