Poutine is a Quebec dish made from freshly cut French fries with cottage cheese and gravy. The snack bar first appeared in rural Quebec in the 1950s and became popular in Canada and other regions in the 1990s. From the exquisite menus of top restaurants to chain stores, fast food restaurants such as McDonald's and Burger King can be seen everywhere in Poutine. It has become an iconic symbol of Quebec’s cuisine and culture.
The word poutine is generally believed to originate from the English word pudding (or pouding in French), which is used to describe a generally messy mix of various foods. In Quebec, the word poutine is slang, which means confusion. More than a dozen other explanations have been provided, including the roots of the French words potin (paté) and poutitè (potato stew).
For the gravy:
3 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. water
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
20 oz. beef broth
10 oz. chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
2 lbs. potatoes
oil for frying
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese curds or mozzarella
To make the gravy, dissolve the cornstarch in the water and set it aside.
Prepare a large saucepan and preheat it. Melt the butter. Add the flour and cook it by stirring regularly for about 5 minutes until the mixture turns golden brown.
Add beef and chicken broth, boil, and stir with a whisk. Add about half of the cornstarch mixture and simmer for about a minute. If you want to make your sauce thicker, add a little cornstarch mixture and increase as needed to make it thicker. Season with pepper. If needed, taste and add extra salt. Reheat or keep warm in advance until your fries are ready.
For the fries, prepare your potatoes and cut them into 1/2 inch thick sticks. Place in a large bowl and cover completely with cold water. Stand for at least an hour or a few hours. When you are ready to cook, heat the oil in a fryer or a large, wide, heavy pan to 300°F.
Remove the potatoes from the water and place them onto a sheet of paper towel. Blot to remove as much excess moisture as possible.
Add the fries to 300 °F oil and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, just until the potatoes start to cook but have not yet turned brown. Remove the potatoes from the oil and place them on a metal rack. Increase the oil temperature to 375 °F. Once the oil has heated to this temperature, return the potatoes to the fryer and cook until the potatoes are golden brown. Put the cooked fries in a bowl with a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
Add your fried or baked fries to a large, clean bowl. Season lightly with salt while still warm. Add a ladle of hot poutine gravy to the bowl and using tongs, toss the fries in the gravy. Add more gravy, as needed to mostly coat the fries.
Add the cheese curds and toss with the hot fries and gravy. Serve with freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.