Call ‘em what you will: in jolly old England they’re called chips, in ‘Merica we say fries, and the French say pommes frites. But really, who fucking cares? Just smother these elongated strips of crispy deep fat-fried taters in gravy and cheese and you got yourself some of the best snack ever created by the human hand.
Poutine, pronounced POO-TAN, otherwise known as "fries and gravy", was created in Quebec around the mid 20th century and the origin of the name still strikes true in daring kitchens around the world today. Fernand Lachance, fatty goopy snack pile lover and native Quebequois, once exclaimed, “ça va faire une maudite poutine! ("it will make a damn mess!"), which is where the greasy pile is rumored to have gotten its name. Lachance wasn’t joking…I would really do some kitchen prep in order to cut down on hours of scrubbing and the inevitable grease fire. Think of how Dexter Morgan would prepare, if he were making home fries’n’gravy.
STEP 1) The dark beef gravy, which is the sexier, more flavorful cousin of the pale sausage-clump country variety, we created by boiling beef bones for 5 hours with some veggie trash and spices the morning of. Nothing like a good stock to really make you feel like less of a failure as a woman. You can also use canned broth (beef, chicken, veg)…but it wont be nearly as badass…just sayin’. It might actually just be a huge embarrassing failure. But it's entirely respectful if you want to take that chance. Whatever.
Okay!...This is how we make gravy...no measuring! Eek! Most would frown on such a method, but they are stuck up and are of no use to us. First, make kind of a roux: pour a couple tablespoons of oil (we like olive for this application) into a little saucepan along with a few pats of butter. Let that melt thoroughly over medium heat, and then whisk in a few tablespoons of all-purpose flour. No chunks! Yeah, sorry, white flour is really good for lots of things. But you can always go organic, even though it’s just gonna make you fat in the long run!
Now turn the heat down a bit and let it simmer real delicate-like for a few minutes, it’ll thicken a scosh. Next, whisk in 2 or 3 cups of stock. Let that simmer for 5 or 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, and keep that heat to a minimum. Slower is better for the gravy-train. Add more stock if necessary to stretch to your liking, or a bit more flour if it seems too thin (but make sure to mix flour with a tiny bit of COLD stock or water and then add it to your pot, otherwise: CLUMPS!) Just trust yourself, dipshit. Don’t be afraid of a little cookin’. Use your best judgement! You can always try again!
When you’ve reached a desired consistency, which may take some time, turn your heat to low to keep it warm until you need it. At this point you can tweak it with some salt and pepper, herbs, garlic, ruffies, benzos, whatever gets yer goat!
STEP 2) Accoutrements.
Being hell bent on decorating our messy fry pile, we decided to hack up some delicious herbs and garlic to toss on the hot salty chippies. And since we couldn’t get fresh gooey cheese curds from our local dairy farm (!%^&!) we opted for a mild yet barn-yardy goat cheddar imported from England. Chop or crumble the cheese into bite-sized bits and set aside.
Mince some parsley (flat or curly, don't matter), garlic, and green onion together and put in a bowl. It got stinky…make sure you warn your make out buddy ahead of time, or make sure they’re eating it too.
STEP 3) Frites Magique.
followed by frying
Near the end of your soak, grab a large saucepan, stockpot, or dutch oven fitted with an accurate frying thermometer and fill it about one third full with vegetable/peanut oil or the like, any kind with a good high smoke point. Grapeseed is nice too! On medium-high, get that oil up to about 350 F. In modest batches, fry all your taters for about 3 or 4 minutes, and place them to drain on some paper bags or towels. When every last pomme frite has been frite-d, crank up the heat a tinch ‘til you get to about 380 F. Fry those niblets a SECOND time, for another few minutes, until they’re niiiiiiiice and dark golden brown.
Drain once again and sprinkle hot fries with salt (preferably the kosher or sea type, anything with more flavor and texture than stupid "table salt").
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"hey small greasy friends"
Pile, Goop, Sprinkle, Clot.
Hey! Our special guests QueLinda Blanco and real live Canadian Pepe like our Poutine!
|With a name like Pepe, the ladies don't give a shit where you're from.|
Not pictured: grease fire. Always make sure your fire extinguisher is armed and ready!