A few weeks ago I shared a picture on Facebook of the last poutine I ate before leaving Canada to move back to the UK. One of my lovely friends sent me a kilo of surprise cheese curds in the post so I could recreate this ultimate Canadian fast food in Suffolk.
There is a time for a balanced and nutritional diet and there’s a time for watching football with a beer and a giant plate of poutine (which is exactly what Paul and I did last Friday). This recipe includes homemade fries and gravy but you can of course use frozen chips/fries and instant gravy if you’re in a pinch. You don’t have to invest in a kilo of curds if you have access to a cheesemonger and can buy small amounts over the counter. Alternatively you can use bocconcini (mozzarella pearls) and cut them in half before scattering over the fries.
Serves 2 (greedy) Adults
800g red potatoes
250g cheese curds
2 tbsps vegetable, goose or duck fat
40g unsalted butter
20g plain flour
250-300ml good beef stock (you can use chicken or veg stock too)
- Pre-heat the oven to 220° (200° fan). Take the cheese curds out of the fridge while you prepare the potatoes. They need to soften before serving.
- Cut the potatoes into thin strips then slice into strips and tip into a bowl. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable/duck/goose fat over the potatoes and toss to coat.
- Put the potatoes on 2 baking sheets making sure there’s a little room between the fries so that they crisp up. Bake for 45 minutes, turning half way through then grind over a little salt once they’re cooked. Leave the oven on at 195° (175° fan) to melt the cheese curds later.
- While the fries are cooking put the butter in a small saucepan over a medium high heat. Once the butter has melted add the flour and stir or whisk immediately (I prefer a whisk). Let the butter and flour cook and foam for 1 minute before gradually adding your stock. The darker your stock, the darker your gravy will be so use the best stock you can afford.
- Turn the heat down and taste to see if you need to add more salt or sugar to balance the taste. Keep the gravy warm until you’re ready to use.
- Scatter the fries on a large serving plate or individual plates then crumble over the cheese curds. Pour over the gravy then put the plate(s) in the oven for a minute or two to melt the curds a little.