I like to describe poutine as one of these dishes that can be simple and complicated at the same time! To make a really good poutine, you need 3 things! Simple, right? But here’s where the quality really makes a difference! Because how good the 3 ingredients are would make or break the dish!
So, what are the 3 ingredients? Really good fries, gravy and cheese curds.
Good fries are pretty much available everywhere in Quebec. I personally prefer double fried french fries, but that’s certainly not the healthiest! Whatever fries you decide to go with, and whether you cook them at home or buy them, make sure that the next 2 ingredients are up to par.
Everyone has a go-to gravy recipe. It can be very simple or more complicated. You can even buy your poutine sauce online, but if you choose to make one yourself, you can look for a recipe online. I’m providing you below with my favorite go-to recipe, but feel free to find one that you’re happy with yourself! Here’s a basic gravy recipe that might do it for you (although I’d add a bit more spices like paprika and dried mustard and maybe a splash of worcestershire sauce and season it with salt and freshly ground pepper):
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 cans 10 oz beef broth, undiluted
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 can 10 ounces chicken broth
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the water. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring until the mixture turns golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Increase the heat and add the broth. Bring to a boil, stirring with a whisk. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and simmer, stirring occasionally, for approximately 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed.
And the last ingredient is…. Cheese curds!!! Yes, they are delicious, but can be rather complicated ! Here’s a more complicated recipe (but oh, so worth it!).
- 2 Gallons of Milk are heated to 96F, add 1/2 tsp of calcium chloride at this point.
(Optional; If you want more color in the curds add 1/4-1/2 tsp of annato cheese coloring at this point)
- Add 1 packet of thermophilic culture C-201 and let this ripen for 30 minutes.
- Then add 1/2 tsp rennet and stir gently for 30 seconds.
the milk will begin to gel in 6-10 minutes and a full set ready to cut in 18 -25 min
- When firm cut the curds into 3/4 inch cubes and stir 5 minutes.
- Then begin to cook the curds to 116F slowly over the next 30 minutes. (starting out at 2F every 5 minutes and then increasing the heating rate as the curds dry out)
- Continue to stir the curds for the next 30-60 min at 116F to increase firmness.
- Drain in cloth and bundle by tightening the cloth.
Press with a weight of 1 Gallon of water (app. 8 lbs) and let set 1-3 hours.
- Now break the curds into small bite size pieces and toss with a bit of salt (to your taste) they are ready to eat. I simply store mine in a plastic bag
If you have any cheese curds left, combine the 3 ingredients to make the most delicious poutine ever! And I know my poutine!