Now what kind of Canadian Food Blogger would I be if I didn’t have a classic poutine recipe on this site? I mean really – what Canadian has NOT had poutine?! Admittedly not everyone loves it but those that do, love it to the point of loyalty. I group myself into the last category, flag waiving and all.
Lets get the the pronunciation of this correct right off the bat. If you are an English speaking Canadian, you’ll almost certainly pronounce it “pooh-teen”. French Canadians might suggest that it should be pronounced as “pooh-tin”. To be safe, if you find yourself in Quebec, you could try the latter (some folks WILL correct you if you don’t) but pretty much anywhere else in Canada and elsewhere, “poo-teen” will serve you just fine and successfully get you the goods. Sources say the dish originated in rural Quebec, Canada, in the late 1950s but no one has been able to pin point where in Quebec it was first served.
So what is poutine?
Short answer: It’s a textural experience. Long Answer: It is a combination of really crispy french fries, topped with squeaky cheese curds and then smothered in good quality, rich gravy. The gravy warms up the cheese and makes it softly melted, stringy, squeaky yummieness that you scoop with with a fry already in place on your fork… I personally go for the “Holy Trio” with every bite to make sure I don’t leave anyone out of the party that’s about to happen. If you are not Canadian, don’t snark (I can see you… ) – I employ you to try it…. it’s fantastic !
Poutine is truly the sum of all its parts. Pay attention to details and your dish will blow your mind. Lets start with the French Fries: they need to be crispy or they will turn into a soggy mess and not be able to hold up with the rest of its counterparts on your fork. For this recipe I used my Oven Baked Italian Fries as some of you will remember that I am not able to control myself around french fries, so I health it up a bit and sleep better at night knowing I at least tried.
Cheese Curds, what the heck are those? They are little rubbery, squeaky pieces of cheese. If you cannot find cheese curds, I suggest you use mozzarella broken into bits. While cheese curds are called and considered cheddar, using cheddar in their place is not the same. To take it one step further, when I go to a restaurant for poutine I ask what kind of cheese they use. If they say regular cheddar, I pass.
The Gravy needs to be good! It can be all chicken, beef, or veal based; or a combination of any of the 3. For this recipe I went for a even divide of chicken and beef but feel free to play with the ratio’s until you get it where you like it. Also, a little plea here if I may: make the gravy from scratch – don’t be tempted by the powder “poutine” gravy packs I know you see in some grocery stores. If this gravy takes you longer than 6 minutes, I will eat a poutine with straight cheddar cheese…
Oh, for all those non-Canadians who will be making and eating poutine… you can arguably consider yourselves a Canadian now 🙂 Bienvenue au Canada ! (I don’t speak french FYI — that was googled, lol )
Authentic Canadian Poutine
- Oven Baked Italian Fries recipe
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 1 cup cheese curds
- Prepare the Oven Baked Italian Fries recipe
- In a sauce pan, melt the butter on medium temperature
- Gradually add in flour, whisking continually to combine
- Continue whisking for 2 – 3 minutes or until mixture is lightly golden
- Gradually add in both broths and whisk until well blended and smooth
- Add in black pepper
- Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to cook for several minutes until thickened
- Keep warm until time to assemble
- Divide up the fries, throw on some cheese curds, and top the whole thing with as much hot gravy as you wish