Since this recipe was originally posted, Killing Thyme has shifted it’s focus to the pesco-vegetarian diet. I’ve decided to keep a few popular meat recipes in my index for your convenience, including this one.
This one is for the poutine purists: Crispy French fries, legit cheese curds so fresh that they squeak, and gloopy brown gravy that sticks to your ribs. Any additions will turn this dish into ‘fancy fries’; anything done differently will create an imposter.
Though poutine is commonly thought of as a French Canadian original, some articles claim it’s likely to have been inspired by the “chips, cheese, and gravy” dish in the UK. Regardless, poutine has definitely become it’s own thing and is recognized as a Canadian classic around the world. When I moved to the Southern US, the Southerners immediately asked about poutine. It is possible to find it on a menu here in the South, but there is usually something amiss. Some people think it’s acceptable to swap the cheese curds for grated mozzarella; some start throwing meat, veggies, and fancy sauces into the mix. I’m not saying these variations aren’t delicious, but for a poutine purist, it’s downright blasphemous to call these concoctions “poutines”.
However, if you run a joint like Smoke’s Poutinerie, you have a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card because you’ll find the classic poutine on their menu, and along with it, other variations to keep things fun and exciting. (And have you seen their “Hangover Poutine”? Good christ.) But if you’re not a poutinerie and you have a “Chorizo and Bean Poutine” on your menu… NO. Just no. Fancy fries, guy. Those are fancy fries.
A proper poutine only comprises three ingredients:
- Crispy deep-fried French fries
- Cheese curds so fresh they still squeak
- A velvety brown gravy that is thick enough to stick to your ribs but runny enough to flow through the fries and give you good coverage. Most times, I’ve been served a poutine with dark beef gravy, but it’s more common to have chicken or turkey gravy seeping through your fries. It really depends on where you go. The closer you get to Quebec, the more pure the poutine.
(It is possible that I am being a snobby French Canadian right now.)
I call this particular poutine the Lazy Classic Poutine because it takes little effort with crispy baked fries, cheese curds, and stove-top gravy, all while still paying homage to the classic flavors. There are a lot of great classic poutine recipes on the Internet, but a lot of them call for making your own fries in which case you need a deep fryer. Not everyone has time for that–and honestly, isn’t poutine supposed to be a quick and dirty treat? There is no real reason to get all fancy dancy with a dish that will taste exactly the same when made with ready-to-bake fries–as long as you get the right kind. And if someone is going to argue that making homemade fries is healthier I will simply retort with this: you are eating poutine.
The gravy recipe here comes from Ricardo Larrivée, because who better to turn to than a French Canadian chef? He balances things out perfectly by cutting his beef stock with chicken stock. His recipe is super easy; one might even say it’s all gravy, baby.
You can imagine the pain I went through while taking these photos and not being able to sample. I wanted to blog the poutine in it’s purest and most classic form despite not being able to eat it myself. So, I passed this off to my husband after the photo shoot and gazed at him with great sorrow as I munched on my Toasted Sesame Salad with Spicy Shrimp (which is flippin’ delicious by the way, so whatever).
Pin it for later!
Lazy Classic Poutine
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
- 1/4 cup of cold of water
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 10 oz of beef broth
- 5 oz of chicken broth
- Ground black pepper to taste
CHEESE1 cup of cheese curds (fresh, if available!)
FRIESAny type of "Extra Crispy" French Fries from the frozen section of your supermarket
- Bake the French fries in the oven as per the packages instructions.
- Set your cheese curds aside.
- In a small bowl or mug, combine the cornstarch and water. Stir until the corn starch has completely dissolved. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter.
- Add the flour, whisking often, for approx. 5 minutes or until the mixture turns golden brown in color.
- Add the garlic and simmer for another 30 seconds.
- Finally, add the beef and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, whisking regularly.
- Stir in the cornstarch and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
- Season with ground black pepper.
- Taste and season further if needed.
- Cover and keep warm until the fries are ready.
- Once the fries are ready, distribute them into their respective dishes.
- Spoon some gravy onto the fries, add the cheese curds (approx. 1/2 cup per serving), and then drizzle with more gravy so the curds get all melty.
- Indulge and enjoy!