Poutine is a Canadian fast-food dish composed of fries, gravy and cheese curds. It is believed to have originated in Quebec in the 1950s. There are several stories as to where and how poutine was created, but one of the more famous stories is that of a regular diner at a restaurant asking the chef to put some cheese curds with his fries, to which the chef exclaimed: “ça va faire une maudite poutine!” meaning “it will make a damn mess!” (the gravy was added later to keep everything warm). Although chips and meaty sauces are served all across the globe, poutine is Canada’s version of this simple comfort food and it stands as Canada’s national dish.
I mentioned that poutine is simple, and I mean it. The hardest bit was probably cutting up the potatoes into chips (that’s right, I made my own!). I didn’t even have to peel the potatoes, but that’s just because I prefer them with the skins on. Admittedly I couldn’t find French cheese curds in the supermarket, so I used something similar instead – cottage cheese (it might sound weird but it was still delicious). I needed some comfort food to calm my nerves before doing a student comedy gig and poutine certainly fitted the bill! I don’t have much else to add really, apart from the recipe:
200g potatoes cut into chips (skins on or off dependant on preference)
500ml vegetable oil
100g cottage cheese
1. In a saucepan heat the oil to a high heat.
2. Deep fry the chips in batches (how many can fit in below the surface of the oil at a time) and fry them until they are crispy golden brown on the outside.
3. Plate the chips up, pour on the gravy and add spoonfuls of the cottage cheese.
Hardly complex, but I certainly can’t complain!
NB: The recipe mentioned uses ball-park figures. I feel the best thing to do is make as many chips as you can and to use as much gravy and cheese as desired!
For the original recipe, go to Ang Sarap and look up poutine.
The UoB Linguist Magazine
Guild of Students,
University of Birmingham