I’ve only had poutine a few times, and unfortunately I’ve never tried it in Canada, but when my parents sent me down a pack of cheese curds from Illinois (PS – Happy Birthday, Mom! Love you!), I knew it was the first thing I wanted to make with them. Poutine is basically fries covered with cheese curds and a brown gravy – and it’s the thing of dreams. If you haven’t had cheese curds before, I’m begging you to try and find them (which I know is easier said then done; as as far as I’m aware they are non-existent here in Charlotte). They’re a mild-flavored cheese and when they are fresh they actually “squeak” against your teeth; which may sound less appealing than it actually is. But, if you can’t find cheese curds, you can always make this short rib poutine with shredded cheddar, though it won’t have that je ne sais quoi.
It’s hard to photograph brown food and make it look good, but trust me when I say hot, crispy fries + cheese curds + short rib gravy = amazing. I’ve made this recipe a couple times and I normally don’t add all of the meat so I get a little more of that rich gravy on its own, but I got a little carried away and kept adding more and more meat into it because it was just too good. Regardless, either way is delicious, but if you like it on the more traditional side (FYI, I’m not claiming this is traditional poutine!), I’d say leave out some of the meat so you get more of that rich gravy on its own. You’ll have leftover shredded meat that way, but it’d be fantastic on top of homemade pasta or stuffed into shells with a quick pan sauce and shredded parm – you can really do so much with it. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll just pile all that meat on top of the poutine, because you just can’t get enough.
- 1 1/2 lbs bone-in beef short ribs
- Salt and pepper
- Oil, for frying
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 2 1/2-3 cups beef stock, as much needed to cover the short ribs
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp flour
- Fresh, hot french fries
- Cheese curds
- Begin by seasoning both sides of the short ribs with salt and pepper. Drizzle enough olive oil in a dutch oven with a tight fitting lid to cover the bottom and heat over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the short ribs in a single layer being sure not to crowd the pan. Cook until all sides are brown and repeat with any remaining short ribs if necessary. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Turn the heat down to medium and add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for just a minute or two to cook out the raw taste of the tomato paste. Add the beef stock and a good pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Scrape the bottom of the pot to remove any brown bits and stir. Turn the heat to low and add the short ribs (and any juices collected from the bowl) back in. Cover with a lid and cook on the stove for 2 1/2- 3 hours or until the meat is very tender.
- When the meat is done, remove from the broth with a slotted spoon and set aside. Skim some of the fat off the top of the liquid and discard. When the meat is cool enough to handle, remove the bones and shred into small pieces.
- Bring the braising liquid to a simmer. Meanwhile, in a small pot on the stove, melt the butter and flour to make a roux. When the flour taste has cooked out, whisk the roux into the braising liquid until it thickens into a gravy. If it's too thick, add a little more beef stock. Gently simmer the gravy, whisking every so often for about 10-15 minutes. Add the shredded meat back into the gravy and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- To assemble, place a handful of hot fries on a plate and sprinkle with cheese curds. Top with as much of the short rib gravy as desired. Serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from Chow