In Quebec, Poutine is the king. Some people will openly say that it is too fatty, but I know that on a Saturday night, after a few beers at the local pub, they will be stuffing their faces with this magical concoction. Probably at the Montreal famous restaurant La Banquise.
I make it a point of introducing this local delicacy to visitors, and I even took a can of pre made poutine sauce all the way to England to share with friends. On the same trip we skipped over to Ireland and visited Belfast. We went to the oldest pub in Belfast and on their menu, was Irish stew, made with Guinness. This recipe is for all those who find themselves in need of warmth or food to soak up the booze, from Montreal to Ireland and back again.
No matter where or when, they always have the same reaction, “Oh mon Dieu!” Poutine is truly the number one hungover, drank too much, or just want to not care tonight, kind of food. I know that it is one of my favourites, and this recipe is top.
Vive Le Poutine du Quebec!
For the Fries (Yes you will make them yourself)
7 large Yukon gold potatoes
1 tablespoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Sauce
2 tbsp grape seed oil
Vegetable oil for frying
4 strips bacon, chopped
1.5 lbs round or other braising beef, cut into bite size pieces
2 tbsp all-purpose flour seasoned with salt & pepper
1 large onions, peeled and small diced
2 large carrots, peeled and small diced
1/2 cup cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can Guinness beer
1 bay leaf
1 large sprig thyme
3 cups beef stock
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2-3 tbsp flour
2 cups cheese curds
Italian flat- leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 375F.
Peel and rinse the potatoes and cut into medium thick French fries, you can do this by hand or using a French fry cutter. Let the raw fries sit in a bowl with the sugar and water until ready to use.
In a large pot, heat he oil until very hot over high heat. Cook the bacon until crispy, remove from pot with a slotted spoon. Reserve bacon for later.
Dredge the beef cubes in flour. Brown the beef until evenly deep brown on all sides.
Follow with onions, carrots, mushrooms and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent.
Deglaze with beer, reduce by half.
Add the beef stock and herbs, stir in the mustard. Bring to the boil.
Cover the stew and bake in the oven for 2 hours or until the beef is fork tender.
Remove from oven, return to the stovetop and bring to a simmer. Whisk one cup of liquid with 3 tbsp of flour. Stir into the stew to thicken it to a gravy consistency. Discard herbs.
In a deep fryer or large pot, heat the vegetable oil to 300F.
Drain the fries from the sugar water and dry them as much as you can.
Working in small batches, fry the potatoes for about 2 minutes to soften them at, then drain on paper towel and let cool.
When the fries are cool, working in batches again, drop them in oil at 375F. Fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
In a shallow bowl or high sided dinner plate, mound the French fries and top with cheese, then pour the piping hot sauce over the fries and cheese. Sprinkle with parsley and enjoy!