p Picks and Pecks: recipes: poutine

Sunday, March 18, 2012

recipes: poutine

Comfort food shouldn't be comfort food if you can't make it at home, right? I've never tried to make french fries at home, but poutine seems to be a good enough excuse to try it!

Since this was a test batch, I figured I would start small. Two potatoes were sliced to McDonalds-type specifications, and I soaked them in salted water to remove some of the starch from the tubers (see the bubbles below and the cloudiness, which means some of the starch has seeped out). 

For the gravy, I took a shortcut and started with some beef stock in a box, to which I added some beef and simmered it. Store-bought beef stock sometimes then to have a tinny, metallic taste to it. I also chose low-sodium stock so that I could season it to my liking, and I let it reduce to about half its volume. I also added some finely chopped up herbs, and a few tablespoons of tomato puree, which helped to thicken the stock and add some acidity.

Time for the fryer! Rather than a single dry, I decided to double-fry them to try to achieve a crisper finish. The second picture below shows the fries after the first round - still rather pale. They only achieved a darker color during the second frying. 

Almost there - the fries did achieve their golden brown colour. I sliced up some soft mozzarella cheese as well. Rather than pre-grated/cubed versions, I thought this would be better than the dehydrated, packaged versions.

The finished product! This is a significantly scaled down version of what I anticipated, but hopefully future versions will be more substantial.