Now that the weather is colder, I have decided that I should be eating heavier (within reason of course, because I still have to go to the gym). One of the greatest dishes I have discovered is Poutine.

poutinePoutine originates from the great country of Canada. Quebec to be exact. It is a dish composed of fries topped with gravy and cheese curds. It all began around the 1950’s in Canada when chefs decided to add gravy to fries to keep them warmer for longer periods of time. Guess heat lamps weren’t very reliable back then. Over the years it has caught on here in the U.S. and can be found in many restaurants. Every February in Chicago there is a little thing known as “Poutine Fest” where several eating establishments around Chicago get together and judge the best Poutine!

At the restaurant where I work, La Grande Vie, we have had Poutine on the menu for about a year. We use stout gravy and top it with a fried egg.

Let’s take a moment to talk about gravy. Good gravy takes time, and I’ve recently learned how to make a cream-based, rather than a roux-based gravy. For gluten-free peeps like me, it is the only way to eat gravy, plus I think it tastes better. Roux-based gravies use equal parts fat and flour and thicken almost immediately.

For great stout gravy without using a roux try this:

Saute 1 minced onion, 1 minced shallot and 2 cloves minced garlic in a little olive oil until soft and translucent. Add ½ cup chicken stock, 1 stout beer and cook until the alcohol has burned off. You will know this has happened because after it sits on the flame for a bit, it will begin to smell more like beer and less like booze! Once it thickens, add 1 pint of heavy cream and season. Let it go low and slow for about 2 hours until thick. Voila, now you have gravy!

To make Poutine, fry up some fries in a heavy pot. Cut up potatoes into sticks, preheat vegetable oil until it is 365 degrees and fry away. Top with gravy, a runny fried egg, cheese curds and consume. Note, this will be so delicious that you will need to control yourself.

What’s your favorite variation of Poutine?