Jason Myers of poutine fame started off his career as a line cook, but found it was missing one key ingredient: the people. Opening up Rua, his food truck in Portland, Oregon, allowed him to be his own boss, source beautiful ingredients and, most importantly, interact with the customers lining up in front of his window. This is his take on the classic Canadian poutine—golden fries topped with cheese curds and rich gravy.–Kim Pham and Philip Shen
LC Poutine! Note
Thankfully for those of us stateside seeking to satiate a craving for obscenely indulgent poutine, it’s no longer a relatively little-known Canadian delicacy. (If you’re wondering what the heck the fuss is about, perhaps before you make this poutine recipe, you need to educate yourself in the ways and whys of poutine.) During the past couple decades, poutine has increasingly earned a place on menus everywhere, whether embraced as homey pub grub or elevated as fancy-pants haute cuisine. The only trick? Knowing how to order it—which essentially means knowing how to pronounce it. If you’re in western Canada, anyplace south of the border, or, actually, just about anyplace other than where they speak that tricky Quebecois, “poo TEEN” will do quite nicely. If you’re in Quebec, forget it—that lingo is just too nuanced for any of us to hope to master without proper instruction. Just point at the word on the menu and smile. [Editor’s Note: The kind and lovely Pina of One Two Culinary Stew just wrote us to say, “I’m originally from Montreal and I’d say the closest Quebecois pronunciation would be ‘poo-TSIN.'” Bless her.]
- Quick Glance
- 45 M
- 1 H, 45 M
- Serves 6
- For the fries
- 2 to 3 pounds (907 to 1361 grams) potatoes (russet, Yukon Gold or Kennebec)
- 2 to 3 quarts (2 to 2 4/5 liters) rice bran oil or other neutral-flavored oil
- For the gravy (or substitute your fave gravy)
- 4 cups (946 milliliters) vegetable stock
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup (75 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (8 milliliters) Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the poutine assembly
- 3 cups (360 grams) fresh, warm cheese curds (cubed fresh mozzarella works as a substitute)
- Make the fries
- 1. Wash and peel the potatoes and cut them into 1/3- to 1/2-inch strips. Submerge them in water for at least 30 minutes and up to several hours.
- 2. Drain the potatoes and rinse them under cold water. Place the fries on paper towels and let them dry completely. Pour the oil into a deep pot or fryer to a depth of 4 inches (10 centimeters) and heat until it registers 275°F (135°C) on a deep-fry or candy thermometer. Working in small batches, cook the fries for about 6 minutes, or until translucent. Using a slotted spoon, remove them from the oil and place on a baking sheet covered with paper towels or a brown paper bag. Repeat with the remaining potatoes, bringing the oil back to temperature between batches. Let the potatoes cool to room temperature.
- 3. Increase the heat of the oil to 375°F (190°C). Again working in small batches, cook the fries for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove them from the oil and toss in a bowl lined with a paper towel or onto another brown paper bag. Add salt to taste.
- Make the gravy
- 4. Heat the stock in a saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to steam. Melt the butter in a separate saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour to the butter, stirring constantly, and cook until a thick paste forms and begins to turn a touch golden. Still stirring constantly, very slowly add the warm stock and Worcestershire sauce to the butter and flour. The gravy will thicken quickly. Reduce the heat to low and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Assemble the poutine
- 5. Place the fries in a bowl, add the cheese curds, and cover generously with the hot gravy. Voila. Poutine.
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Poutine Recipe © 2014 Kim Pham and Philip Shen. Photo © 2014 KIM+PHIL Photography. All rights reserved.
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