Sunday, October 13, 2013

Canadian Junk Food (Bacon Poutine)


This past month, a couple of different friends of mine mentioned this heavenly creation called Poutine.  Leave it to the Canadians, more specifically the Quebeckers (yes, that is what you call someone from Quebec, I Googled it) to create such a delicious 'Heart Attack in a Bowl'.  So, because I'm not one to ignore signs from the universe telling me to make the famed marvel, I opted to give them a shot.

First, what is Poutine? It's a common Canadian dish, made with french fries, topped with a light brown gravy-like sauce and cheese curds.  Claimed inventor,  Fernand Lachance, (from Warwick, Quebec, invented in 1957) is said to have exclaimed, "ça va faire une maudite poutine" ("it will make a damn mess") when asked to put a handful of cheese curds on some fried potatoes. The sauce was allegedly added later, to keep the fries warm longer.

I made Bacon Poutine last night for dinner.  It went perfect with beer, which is why I think it's one of the top comfort junk foods of our northern neighbors.

Bacon Poutine
10-12 strips of Bacon
1 small onion
4 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups beef stock
1 cup white wine
½ bag frozen french fries
2 cups cheese curds or any your favorite melting cheese
3 tbsp fresh rosemary
salt and pepper to taste

1. Chop up your bacon into relatively small pieces and fry them in a medium sauce-pot until they’re crispy. Remove the bacon onto some paper towel with a slotted spoon to leave the rendered fat any anything else that came off in the bottom of the pan.

2. Dice up your onion and fry it in the bacon fat until its super soft and golden. This should take a few minutes. Do this on medium heat so the onions don’t burn, but cook through.

3. Add your 4 tbsp of flour and mix together thoroughly. If you find that it’s really dry, you can add some butter, 1-2 tablespoons to loosen it up a bit. We are making a roux. The consistency should be slightly thicker than pancake batter. Continue to stir this on medium or about five minutes.

4. Little by little, add your stock and white wine while using a whisk to stir the roux. Keep whisking until the gravy comes to a boil and begins to thicken. If you want to make a larger amount of gravy, the golden ratio is 2 tbsp of fat, 2 tbsp of flour and 1 cup of stock make a nice, thick gravy. Add pepper.

You can leave this gravy on your back-burner on low to keep warm while you make your fries. Remember to stir it periodically so a film doesn’t build up. If it thickens up too much for your liking, you can add a bit of stock, wine or water.

Deep Fry:
1. Preheat cooking oil in electric deep fryer at 400 degrees. Fill deep fryer not more than a half full of oil.

2. Fill fryer basket not more than half full of frozen french fries. Carefully lower basket into hot oil.

3. Fry 2-1/2 to 3 minutes. Cook to a light golden color.

4. Drain on paper towels. Season to taste. Caution: Ice crystals on frozen foods can cause spattering when added to hot oil. Add product carefully.

Chop up your cheese into ¼” to ½” cubes.

Assemble the dish: In a small bowl, put your fries, then a layer of cheese, smother in your delectably gravy.  Top with Bacon.

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