Montreal’s gastronomic achievements may have reached dizzying heights, but the province of Quebec will forever be known as the place where poutine fries began. An unabashedly hearty mixture of French-fried potatoes, beef gravy, and squeaky-fresh cheese curds, this Canadian french fries dish (similar to New Jersey’s “disco fries”) is the ultimate late-night party snack.
Our poutine recipe comes from former Saveur Test Kitchen assistant, and Toronto native, Anne-Marie White, whose addition of green peppercorns and Worcestershire sauce brings a layer of spicy depth to the gravy.
- 4 lb. russet potatoes, skin-on, washed and dried
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1⁄4 cup flour
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 cups beef stock
- 2 Tbsp. ketchup
- 1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. whole green peppercorns
- 1⁄2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Canola oil, for frying
- 2 cups cheddar cheese curds
- Cut potatoes into lengths of about 1⁄4” x 1⁄4” x 4″. Place in a large bowl, cover with cold water, and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, heat butter in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour, and cook, stirring, until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add shallot and garlic, and cook, until soft, about 2 minutes. Add stock, ketchup, vinegar, peppercorns, Worcestershire, and salt and pepper, and bring to a boil; cook, stirring, until thickened, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat, and keep gravy warm.
- Pour oil to a depth of 3″ in a 6-qt. Dutch oven, and heat over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 325°. Drain potatoes, and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Working in small batches, add potatoes and fry, tossing occasionally, until tender and slightly crisp, about 4 minutes.
- Drain on paper towels, and let cool for 20 minutes. Increase temperature to medium-high, and heat oil until it reads 375°. Working in small batches, return potatoes to oil, and fry, tossing occasionally, until crisp and golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer fries to paper towels to drain briefly, and then divide among serving bowls. Pour gravy over each serving of fries, and top with cheese curds; serve immediately.