Have you had poutine before? If not, you’re in for a major treat. Poutine originated in Quebec, Canada in the 1950s and consists of French fries, cheese curds and brown gravy. Simple, sure, but so, so good. Brown gravy is typically made with beef stock, of course, but my genius husband Ed came up with this incredible vegetarian brown gravy and I guarantee—pinky promise, in fact—that you’re going to love it.
Serve the poutine as a side dish with sandwiches or burgers, or do what we did—fries for dinner! Heads up that this dish does take a bit of time to prepare…three hours for the fries (two hours of chilling + one hour of cooking) and an hour and a half for the gravy. Prep the veggies ahead of time to save yourself some time and trouble, if you’d like. The end result is totally worth it!
About one pound of Yukon gold potatoes
1 red onion
1 garlic clove
8 Brussels sprouts
6 celery stalks
1/2 bag baby carrots
Pinch of dried rosemary
1 T. butter
2 T. olive oil
3 1/2 c. vegetable stock
1/4 c. flour
1 c. red wine (we used Cabernet)
Fresh cracked pepper
Olive oil cooking spray
Diced chives (optional)
1) Chilling the potatoes for at least a couple of hours prior to serving is the secret to fries with a super fluffy interior and extra crispy exterior! Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Rinse the potatoes with hot water and wipe down the outsides well (no need to peel). Slice the potatoes into fry-sized chunks and place them into the boiling water. Potatoes can go from uncooked to a mushy mess pretty quickly, so just keep an eye on them; you want them to be fork-tender but not falling apart (it might take 15 minutes, give or take). Drain the potatoes, rinse with cool water and place onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Allow the potatoes to chill in the fridge until you’re ready to start cooking.
2) Once you’re ready, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the potatoes from the fridge and season with cracked black pepper and smoked paprika (just give them a bit of color). Spray the potatoes with olive oil cooking spray.
3) Roughly chop the red onion and celery stalks. Add them to a 9in. x 13in. glass dish along with the whole clove of garlic, Brussels sprouts and baby carrots. Sprinkle with a pinch of dried rosemary and season with cracked black pepper. Add 1/2 c. vegetable stock, 2 T. olive oil and 1 T. butter to the dish as well.
4) Place both the potatoes and the gravy dish into the oven and cook for one hour (flip the fries after 30 minutes).
5) Dump the contents of the gravy dish into a pot over high heat. Allow to cook for two minutes, then add 1/4 c. flour and stir well. Cook for another two minutes, then add 1 c. red wine and stir well. Cook for two for minutes, then add 3 c. vegetable broth and stir well. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
6) Place a sieve over a large bowl and pour the contents of the pot into the sieve. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to press the vegetables into the sieve to drain as much liquid from them as possible. You’re left with delicious vegetarian brown gravy!
7) Divide the fries into servings on smaller baking trays (it was just myself and my husband, so we split them). Add cheese curds on top of the fries, then ladle with gravy. Place the pan into the broil until the cheese just starts to melt (be careful not to burn the fries). Sprinkle with chives, if desired.