a couple months ago, my family and i went to niagara falls.  we had a great time checking out the falls and very interesting collection of restaurants, shops, and games in clifton hill.

i did some research prior to our trip about different kinds of canadian food.  one of the things i found was poutine.  poutine is fries, smothered in gravy and cheese curds.  sounds good right?  so while we were there, we made sure to try some poutine.  i found smoke’s poutinerie online and it was within walking distance from our hotel.  score!

there were all kinds of different poutines at smoke’s poutinerie and all of them looked wonderful.  but we decided on the regular, perogi, and triple pork (bacon, sausage, and pulled pork).  we shared 3 orders among the 4 of us and it was more than enough.  we were absolutely stuffed.

well fast forward a few weeks and my brother came to visit us in dc.  since he wasn’t able to go to niagara falls with us, i wanted to try our hand at homemade poutine so he could taste the amazing-ness that it is.  he was so kind and actually picked up some cheese curds from cornell’s dairy for our poutine.  how neat!

we decided to make loaded potato poutine so along with the gravy and cheese curds, we added bacon, sour cream and green onions, just like a loaded baked potato.  and the verdict?  for our first attempt at homemade poutine, i think it turned out pretty good!   the fries were amazing – there just isn’t anything like fresh, right out of the fryer french fries.  but the gravy wasn’t an absolute hit.  the ketchup flavor was a bit too strong and it was bit runny.  so i think next time i’m going to use a different gravy recipe and see how that goes.  i’ll be sure to post an update when i do…

you have to start the fries a few hours ahead of time because they need to soak in water for a couple hours.  wash those beautiful potatoes – we’re not going to peel them because the skin is where all of the flavor is.

then cut them into fries.  i like to slice them…

and then cut each slice into sticks.

immediately put the cut potatoes into cold water so that they don’t start to discolor.  soak the potatoes in water, in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.

meanwhile, you can work on the gravy.  start by melting the butter in a medium saucepan, then add the flour, whisking to make sure there are no lumps.  cook the butter and flour mixture for a couple minutes.

add the shallots and garlic and cook until they are soft.

now add the beef stock, ketchup, worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper and bring the mixture to a boil.  be sure to stir regularly.

once it’s thickened it’s ready to serve.  i just left the gravy one the stove on low while i made the fries.

back to the fries.  heat up a pot of oil to 325 degree f…

and add some of the fries.  make sure to dry them off well.  also don’t add too much because it will make the temperature of the oil drop which is no good.  fry the fries for just 4 minutes.  we’re not looking to cook and brown the fries completely.  we are just blanching them.

therefore, when you take them out of the oil they will look kind of soggy and just barely browned.  that’s what we want.

continue with the rest of the fries until they are all blanched.

then increase the temperature of the oil to 375 degrees f.  fry the blanched fries in batches, this time around cooking them for about 2 minutes until they are nicely golden brown and crispy.  i like to salt them right when they get out of the oil.

once all of the fries are done, it’s time to assemble.  first, gather your toppings like the cheese curds, green onion, sour cream, gravy, and of course the bacon…

add a handful (or two) of the fries to a bowl.

top the fries with some cheese curds and then pour on the gravy.  make sure the gravy is hot so that it melts the cheese.  you can stop here for regular poutine.

or you can go all out like we did and make the loaded potato version and add crumbled bacon, a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of chopped green onion.

boy was it good!  i mean you can’t really go wrong with fries covered in cheese and gravy topped with bacon, but still.  my friend called this a heat attack on a plate – quite an appropriate description.  so maybe you shouldn’t have this too often.  but as a special treat i definitely suggest trying your hand at making some homemade poutine.  you won’t regret it.

for the recipe, please visit saveur.

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  1. bob v.

     /  July 14, 2014

    This will seriously put a dent in my diet plans. However, they soak up alcohol pretty well.

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