Along with Tourtière, Cretons and Tarte au Sucre, Poutine is one of the signature native dishes of the province of Quebec, in Canada. I’ve blogged before about the origins of the dish and I’ve opined as to how it should be made. But, today, I’m going to pass on the original, small-town diner recipe…
There’s only one real way to make poutine, in spite of all the foodie permutations and ‘elevated’ versions we’ve seen on the menus of trendy restaurants. It takes only three ingredients, but the authenticity of those ingredients is vital to the making of REAL Poutine!
What you need…
4 servings of freshly cooked, well-drained French Fries
1 cup / 250 ml Beef Gravy
1 cup / 250 ml fresh Cheddar Cheese Curds
What, exactly, are Cheese Curds?
Curds are proto-Cheese, the Milk Fat and Solids left after the Milk is intentionally curdled and the Whey, or liquid, is drained off. In making Cheese, the curds are placed in round or square forms and the remaining moisture (most of it, anyway) is pressed out. Thereafter, the Cheese is aged. Proper fresh curd must be sourced direct from the Cheese Factory the day it’s made. It must not be refrigerated. It must squeek when you bite into it. I must be rubbery, not hard and clay-like.
What about the Gravy?
Poutine Gravy must be old-fashioned, low-brow, ‘French’s’, either from a can or made from powder in a pouch. Only this Gravy has the tang and Saltiness required to make real Poutine!
What you do…
Place French Fry portions on individual plates – wide-rimmed Soup Bowls are best, in my estimation.
Sprinkle Curds liberally on top of the Fries. The Fries must be hot enough that the curds start to melt on contact! Failing really hot, fresh fries, place the servings in the microwave and give them a blast, both to refresh the Fries and start the Curd melting.
Next, spoon or ladle hot Gravy over the Fries and Curd. Be careful: Too much Gravy will make the Fries soggy. Too little will lave the Curds high and dry and spoil that perfect bite you’re looking for!
Serve piping hot, before there’s any chance of even the bottom-of-the-stack Fries getting soggy.
It’s as easy as that!
And guarantee you’ll notice the difference once you’ve had Poutine made the right way, with authentic ingredients!