The Zamzows Table: Homemade Poutine

The Zamzows Table: Homemade Poutine

I don't recall when I first heard about poutine. My initial reaction was a bit skeptical. If you have never heard of poutine, here's a quick rundown: crispy french fries and cheese curds topped with delicious gravy. It didn't take long for skepticism to fade. Perfectly crispy hand-cut french fries have been a pursuit of mine for many years. Poutine is great as a side dish and versatile enough to be turned into a full meal. I promise you're going to love this one.

From the garden:

  • 4-5 medium to large potatoes - You can use frozen french fries; just make sure they are crispy. I am also not picky about what kind of potato I use, though I prefer russet for their size and thicker skin.

From the store:

  • 2-3 cups cheese curds - I don't see cheese curds available often. Your favorite type of cheese cut into small cubes makes an easy substitute.
  • 3-4 cups vegetable oil - Add the oil to a tall cast-iron pot. Be very careful when cooking your fries in oil. It will be very hot, and the oil can pop out. I highly recommend having a cooking thermometer that goes up to at least 350 degrees.
  • 4 Tbsp - Butter
  • 1/4 cup - Flour
  • 1 tsp - Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp - Onion powder
  • 2 cups broth - I usually use vegetable broth since my daughter is vegetarian. Use your favorite.
  • 1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to your taste


Prep Potatoes:

  1. Wash your potatoes and slice them into french fries. I prefer to cut my fries thin, about 1/4 inch thick. They will cook much faster, but you can make your fries thicker if you want. If you have a fry slicer, it will go much faster. My best advice is to keep them as close to the same size as possible.
  2. Add your fries to a large bowl. Once they are all sliced, fill the bowl with cold water. Add a fair amount of salt to the water. The water should taste salty like the ocean.
  3. Let your potatoes soak in the salty water for at least two hours. If you can let them soak longer, up to 24 hours, that's even better. If soaking longer than a few hours, put your bowl in the fridge.
  4. About an hour before bringing everything together, let your cheese curds sit out and warm to room temperature. If you don't have cheese curds, cube your chosen cheese.

Make Gravy:

  1. In a medium saucepan on medium-low heat, melt your butter.
  2. Once melted, allow the butter to brown slightly and whisk in the flour, creating a roux, allowing it to brown slightly.
  3. Slowly add your broth to the roux, stirring constantly. The roux will form a thick paste. As you add more broth, the gravy will thin. Continue stirring.
  4. Once all the broth has been added, whisk in garlic and onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, and apple cider vinegar.
  5. Continue stirring for a few more minutes. Then reduce heat to low and stir occasionally.

Make Your Fries:

  1. When you are ready to make your fries, pour off the water and rinse them several times with fresh water, pouring off the water each time. Spread your fries over a large baking tray. Use a towel or paper towels to dry off the potatoes as best you can.
  2. Warm your oil to 300 degrees.
  3. Working in batches with a large slotted spoon or skimmer spoon, gently add potatoes to the oil. Watch the temperature of the oil. After adding the potatoes, the temp will fall. Cook the potatoes for two to three minutes and remove to a paper towel-lined tray. Allow the oil to come back up to 300 degrees before adding the next batch.
  4. Once all the potatoes have been cooked once, raise the oil temperature to 350 degrees and cook the potatoes again until they are a nice golden brown. Remove from the oil back to the lined tray. Salt to taste.
  5. This second cooking in the oil is where they will get nice and crispy!

Serve Your Poutine:

Serve your poutine by adding a handful of fries to a deep bowl. Add several curds or cubes of cheese, then ladle the warm gravy over the top. Additionally, you can top your poutine with any number of toppings. My wife loves St. Lawrence Gridiron's brisket poutine; you can add green onions, hot sauce, steak, or chicken. The options are endless!

I love making poutine. Honestly, any chance I get to make homemade french fries, I am there. If we have some protein to add to the top, it makes a great meal when you add veggies like roasted asparagus or Brussels sprouts. Or simply serve on the side of perfectly cooked steak and salad.