French fries and squeaky cheese curds get smothered in a dark Guinness Draught gravy for a poutine that would make any Québécois proud. I think.
Little Miss Muffet
Sat on a tuffet,
Eating of curds and whey;
There came a big spider,
Who sat down beside her,
And frightened Miss Muffet away.
We replaced Miss Muffet’s whey with beer-spiked gravy and added a few french fries. It all works out.
I’m not sure why I’m writing this. Making poutine was Ole’s idea. Still, in marriage it’s strange how those possessions and feelings and responsibilities get blurred. One idea is no longer just one person’s brainchild. Instead, an idea can only be fully realized when the two people in the relationship agree and move forward together to accomplish whatever the end goal happens to be.
First, ingredients are set aside, purchases made, and time is carved out of full schedules for the sole purpose of consuming a comfort food associated with pubs, greasy spoons, and food carts. Discussions must be had on the right and proper way to turn beer into gravy, and somewhere you must find common ground.
This dish finds its beginning in Canada, Quebec specifically. ::waves frantically in Aimee‘s direction:: Still, cheese curds are prevalent around these parts, and I can get a plate of poutine in several neighborhood establishments and at the state fair just a short walk from my doorstep each August (as well as fried curds by their lonesome).
Poutine is a textural dish: The mixing of crisp, hot fries and squeaky cheese curds that are melting ever so slightly as a result of pouring the gravy over the top of the whole thing making it creamy and squeaky and crunchy all at once. You can’t separate them and have the same experience, and so for people who take after Sally Albright, I’m sorry, the gravy does not come on the side.
Did you know you can make your own cheese curds? Perfect for those of you who don’t live in dairy country where cheese curds are readily available or when you really want to experience that squeak at its fullest.
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup finely minced onion
2 teaspoons strong Dijon mustard (like Maille)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup chicken stock (can substitute vegetable broth)
1 cup Guinness Draught
salt and pepper to taste
3-4 cups baked or fried french fries
1/2 cup cold white cheese curds
Make the gravy. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes or until translucent. Stir in the mustard.
Mix 1/4 cup of the stock with the cornstarch. Set aside. Slowly stir in the remaining stock and the Guinness into the onions. Stir in the cornstarch mix and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the gravy comes to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and simmer until it just starts to thicken (poutine gravy should be on the thinner side, but you can always make a thicker gravy with a bit more cornstarch or cooking longer). Season to taste.
Plate hot fries and top with cheese curds. Pour the gravy over the top. Serve immediately.
Makes 3-4 servings poutine.