You know what sucks about being married? Sharing my poutine. That’s about it, but still.
Kris at To Be Mrs. Marv asked SiS for tips on how to make poutine, so Hanne and I have begun our investigation. We ate two halves of two poutines each before we left for Christmas. More accurately, I greedily ate about 2/3rds of both while Hanne tried to snap a good shot. I darted my fork in after each camera click, making off with great gooey gobs before she started eating. She either didn’t notice or didn’t complain, which is why I married her.
What is poutine, you ask? Poutine is, like, the greatest. It’s comfort food that will make your arms feel weak and your heart thump lugubriously. Glump glump. It’s a clusterfuck of fries, gravy and cheese. But no ordinary cheese. We grew up in Alberta where so-called poutine is mangled by a mess of cheap melted mozzarella cheese. You can’t do that. You just can’t.
A real poutine needs fresh cheese curds. Finding them fresh is likely the biggest challenge in making a good homemade poutine. The fresher the better as curds lose their springiness quick. Poutine is all about textures: crispy fries and teeth squeaking curds swallowed in a salty goopy gravy.
My favourite Montreal poutines can be found at the 24hr La Banquise (they have two dozen variations, but I’ve only tried the original pictured above) and at La Belle Province on St-Laurent Boulevard just above Prince Arthur. La Belle Province is a mediocre chain, but by some miracle combo of fries, curds, good gravy and typical Montreal inconsistencies, this particular location nails it. I’ve stolen into many a winter night out of that joint with a piping hot tin plate balanced on my hand (see the spoils in the picture below).
The best poutine in the world can be had at Au Pied de Cochon. I had hoped that their cookbook would hold the secret to their silky gravy, but unfortunately their poutine recipe tells me to pick up a can of PdC gravy from the restaurant. Secretive protectionist bastards! I’ve heard they emulse foie gras into their gravy. They also serve a poutine with a slab of foie gras on top for twenty bucks a plate. That plate alone is enough to convince me what side of the foie gras debate I’m on.
So Hanne and I will continue our investigation. We’ll eat more of this heavenly sludge and then test some recipes. When we come up with the right concoction, we will share it with you here. Kris has a head-start on us–check out her perfect fries here.