Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Pronounced "peu-tin", not "pooteen", as one would think, this is Canadian junk food, also one of the many things known as a heart attack in a bowl. But try asking for "peu-tin", and you will get a vacant stare.

Poutine is available from street carts in almost any large Canadian city, but is best in French Quebec. Can't get it anywhere outside Canada that I know of. It is absolutely delicious, and worth making. 

Another one of those guilty pleasures that goes down best when slightly drunk. Can't emphasise enough that this must be eaten HOT, HOT, HOT!

So, to make your own, and keep the original taste, the following is necessary:

1.) The chips must be fried in lard.
2.) The gravy must be thick, like molasses. Use the liquid left over from cooking oxtails, with some of the meat, and reduce it to a thick, glossy slow-moving syrup. Add some Bisto if you want, but not too much.
3.) Use good cheddar cheese. the Canadians use cheddar curds, but suitable curds are hard to find.

Fry the chips, no point in double-frying them, they will get soggy anyway. place in a hot bowl, scatter the cheese, pour the gravy over, everything must be very hot, and should be eaten immediately  Once it becomes cold, it is a disgusting, soggy mess. And that is what the name is, "poutine" is Acadian slang for "soggy mess". If you don't feel like making it, do try it next time you are in Canada.


Media Junkie said...

THANKKKKK YOUUUUU!!! I've been dying to have a decent recipe for this.

What do you recommend for good cheddar in Dubai?

Slimseun said...

Actually I am not in Dubai. The Canadians use cheddar curds, so I expect hard cottage cheese would do if you can get them. The important thing is to eat it hot.

4EverCanadian said...

It is by sheer coincidence that I found this site since my British friend has been hearing about poutine from his Canadian co-workers in the past (that would be me the bluenoser and the guy from Montreal ;)

Anyway since you are on a Canadian kick, I wanted to mention that I usually make beaver tails for my kids school for international day (in Dubai) and they are a big hit. NO they are not real beaver tails they are cinnamon and sugar covered flat doughtnuty things shaped like a beaver tail (picture a large tear drop).
So I have attached the recipe in case you want some more artery clogging goodness from the land of the people who say 'eh'.

“If you have ever visited Canada, you can try a sweet pastry that is essentially a flat doughnut with sugar on top. It is shaped like the tail of a beaver” see right...

1/2 cup warm water
2 eggs
5 teaspoons dry yeast
1/3 cup oil
pinch of sugar
4 1/4 - 5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup warm milk
oil for frying (I like canola)
1/3 cup granulated sugar for dusting
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yeast, warm water and pinch of sugar. Allow to stand a couple of minutes to allow yeast to swell or dissolve.

Stir in remaining sugar, milk, vanilla, eggs, oil, salt and most of flour to make soft dough. Knead 5-8 minutes (by hand or with a dough hook), adding flour as needed to form a firm, smooth, elastic dough. Place in a greased bowl.

Place bowl in a plastic bag and seal. (If not using right away, you can refrigerate the dough at this point). Let rise in a covered, lightly greased bowl, about 30-40 minutes. Gently deflate dough, (if dough is coming out of the fridge, allow to warm up about 40 minutes before proceeding).

Pinch off a golf ball sized piece of dough. Roll out into an oval and let rest, covered with a tea towel, while you are preparing the remaining dough.

Heat about 4 inches of oil in fryer (a wok works best but you can use a Dutch oven or whatever you usually use for frying). Temperature of the oil should be about 385 F. Test by tossing in a tiny bit of dough and see if it sizzles and swells immediately. If it does, the oil temperature is where it should be. Stretch the ovals into a tail - thinning them out and enlarging them as you do. Add the beaver tails to the hot oil, about 1-2 at a time.

Turn once to fry until the undersides are deep brown. Lift beaver tails out with tongs and drain on paper towels.

Fill a large bowl with a few cups of white sugar. Toss beaver tails in sugar (with a little cinnamon if you wish) and shake off excess. You can also top off Beaver Tails with whatever preserves, pie fillings or even just powdered sugar.