Men’s Journal asked BBQ Brian for his input on the topic of what makes a good poutine? Canadian’s love it and being a Canadian, BBQ Brian had something to say.
If you are Canadian, you’ve had poutine. If you are Canadian and you haven’t had poutine, then well, the rest of Canada just put you on wavers to be traded to another country.
Poutine is a staple, comfort food for moments of indulgence, moments of side-dish complement and well, moments that simply soak up your stupor.
Here is a link to the full article titled Poutine: The Ultimate Comfort Food for the Cold.
There’s lots to consider… is it the fries? Well, yes, those are important. Wimpy or too skinny fries just don’t cut it. They also have to be crisp, well seasoned and great tasting. For true Canadian fries, use Kennebec potatoes or BC russets – double fried of course for crispness.
Is it the cheese? Well, yes… no bad cheese in a good poutine and seriously there is no need for a grater if you do it right. It’s gotta be cheese curds – the formation of whey before it’s pressed into blocks or rounds of finished cheese. Sometimes cheese curds even make your teeth squeak as you eat it. Talk about a criteria for a good poutine!
Is it the gravy? Um, duh! Of course! The gravy is like a blanket that warms your whole body and reminds you of snuggling with mom with hot chocolate. The gravy can’t be too salty or too thin. It’s gotta have depth of flavour and it’s own character. It needs to coat just enough of the fries so you can still taste the french fry by itself and at the same time melt the cheese.
Now this is where the creativity and the “chef-iness” comes in. Imagine braised beef short rib poutine? Or slow-smoked pulled pork poutine? The sky is the limit and the variations seem endless. Regardless of how it is made and who makes it, it is a popular Canadian dish and BBQ Brian loves it!