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poutine on black plate
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5 from 11 votes

Homemade Poutine (a Canadian Classic)

Check out this Canadian classic - homemade poutine. Baked fries with creamy insides, melty cheese curds, all smothered in a rich beef gravy. I may be a biased Canadian, but I think you will agree it's a scrumptious easy-to-make comfort food.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Canadian, Quebec
Servings (change as needed): 3 (or two large portions)
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

Poutine Fries

  • 1 pound (450g) potatoes, Russet or Yukon Gold, Note 1 (2-3 potatoes)
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon each, kosher salt and ground pepper

Gravy recipe

  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil (or meat drippings or butter)
  • 1 cup (230 ml) good beef broth or beef stock Note 2, 3 if using undiluted, full strength broth, use 3/4 broth and 1/4 water)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: a teaspoon fresh herbs like thyme or chives; a pinch of onion powder or garlic powder, and a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce.

Cheese curds

  • 1/2 cup (112g) white cheddar cheese curds - or more, room temperature (or substitute torn full fat mozzarella)

Instructions

  • HEAT OVEN TO 425F/218C. Line a baking pan with parchment or foil, sprayed with oil.
  • MAKE FRENCH FRIES: Peel potatoes if you like (I don't bother). Cut them into sticks of about 1/3 inch or 1 cm wide and pat dry with paper towels. No need to obsess - thinner will take less time to bake, fatter will take more. Optional: For crispier fries, soak them in a bowl of cold water for 30 minutes or more to remove some starch. Dry them well in a tea towel. Toss with oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread on pan. Bake fries for 30 minutes or until nicely browned, flipping once half way through. Note 4 to fry.
  • MAKE GRAVY: While fries are baking, make the gravy. Put 1 1/2 tbsp of fat drippings or oil into a small saucepan. Heat to medium. Stir in flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes until it starts to turn a very light brown. (It should be a loose paste. If too dry, add a bit more oil). Add broth and whisk/stir until smooth - about 3 minutes. Gravy will thicken. Add optional herbs and Worcestershire if using. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
  • ASSEMBLE: Place hot fries on a plate. Top with cheese curds. Pour HOT gravy over. Serve immediately with additional toppings (Note 5) or optional garnish if you like. Dig in!

Notes

  1. French fries shortcut: Use frozen French fries and bake according to package directions. 
  2. Beef Broth:
    • For beef gravy (traditional), my personal favorite is a can of Campbell's undiluted beef broth (30% less salt). It will NOT say 'ready to serve' on the can. I use it at full strength without adding water. If I can't get the lower sodium brand, I use full strength mixed with some water. Otherwise the poutine will be too salty as cheese curds contain a lot of salt. Epicurious wrote an article recommending the best beef broths if you're interested.
    • You can also use a combination of beef and chicken broth. Or just chicken broth. 
  3. Gravy options and shortcut:
    1. Chicken gravy: Instead of a brown beef gravy, you can also make a chicken gravy or combination of beef and chicken.
    2. Shortcut gravy, use a packaged gravy such as Knorr Classic Brown Gravy Mix or your favorite. 
    3. Vegetarian gravy: Use vegetarian broth and herbs. I also add green onions for extra flavor (saute them before adding flour). 
  4. To fry French fries (instead of baking them), here is a french fries recipe from fifteen spatulas.
  5. Optional toppings: Bacon, smoked meat, cooked sausage, pulled pork, scallions, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms. Or whatever ever else you like.
  6. Make Ahead
    • You can make the gravy several days ahead and keep it in the fridge. Reheat it on the stove or in the microwave. Store leftover gravy in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. 
    • The fries can also be made a couple hours ahead. Just reheat them before serving at 400F/204C for 5-7 minutes to crisp up. 
Nutrition values are estimates and depend on how much cheese curds and gravy used. 
Calories: 382kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 663mg | Potassium: 796mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 155mg | Iron: 2mg