The much loved poutine is the ultimate Canadian comfort food.
Poutine (pronounced "pou-tin"), which originated in Quebec, is a dish of French fries and squeaky cheese curds smothered in a simple beef gravy. It's delicious, comforting, and in my youth, a go to dish after a long night of dancing and barhopping.
For the fries in this recipe, the easiest way to prepare them is with an air fryer. And though I call for fresh potatoes, your favourite frozen variety will work perfectly. If using frozen, the canola oil can be omitted, as frozen fries usually have fats frozen to them to help crisp up during cooking. If you don't have an air fryer, a sheet pan lined with parchment paper placed in the oven works fine. Use a metal cooling rack to lift the fries up as they cook to simulate the air circulation of an air fryer. Follow the package directions for frozen fries or go with a temperature of 375°F / 190°C if using fresh potatoes, and test for doneness. Depending on how thick you cut your fries, this could be 20 minutes or more.
Even the gravy in this dish can be substituted with packaged gravy, but homemade offers the best flavour.
Poutine can be customized in so many ways. Switch up the gravy used with an alfredo, or add some pulled meats, vegetables, fresh herbs, etc. Get creative and share what you came up with in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
TIP: If you have the drippings from previously prepared, cooked meat, add them to the gravy to amplify the flavours.
(Makes 3 servings)
4 large yellow or white potatoes, peeled and cut into French fries
2 tablespoons canola oil (or avocado oil)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup cheese curds
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon gravy flour
1 cup beef stock
sea salt, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste
After peeling and cutting the potatoes into French fries, rinse off the starch then pat dry, removing as much water from the surface of each fry as possible. Transfer dried fries to a large bowl. Drizzle the fries with the oil and toss to coat the fries evenly. Sprinkle with half teaspoon of sea salt, toss again. Sprinkle with the other half teaspoon, then toss again to distribute it evenly.
Cook in an air fryer (in batches if needed) using the manufacturer's recommended settings for French fries. If using a conventional oven, preheat to 375°F/ 190°C. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper then place a metal cooling rack onto the sheet pan. Transfer the fries to the cooling rack in one even layer. (The cooling rack will allow the heat and air to circulate around the fries simulating an air fryer.) Fries are ready when they are tender and golden brown. Test for doneness and prepare to your preferred level of crispiness. Depending on how thick you cut your fries, this could be 20 minutes or more.
As the fries cook, prepare the gravy. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add the butter and allow it to melt. As it starts to sizzle, reduce the temperature to medium and, while continuously whisking, allow it to cook for a few minutes until it starts to turn a golden brown. Sprinkle in the gravy flower and whisk vigorously to combine. Slowly add the beef stock a little at a time to help it combine with the flour and butter mixture. Bring back to a simmer and allow the mixture to thicken. If it thickens too much, add a little additional stock or water to thin it slightly. Gravy should cling to the fries while still being pourable. Taste the gravy for seasoning and add salt and ground black pepper as needed.
In a bowl or deep plate, add the fries, top with cheese curds, and pour over the gravy. Serve immediately.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
total calories = 344 | total fat = 13.45g | saturated fat = 6.54g | cholesterol = 32.67mg | sodium = 758.67mg | net carbohydrates = 40.35g | dietary fibre = 3.15g | sugars = 3.71g | protein = 14.44g