Poutine au Foie de VeauFebruary 19, 2007
This time I show where I am from. Poutine is a strange, to some, concoction made of fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. This thing was introduced to the world in the town of Warwick, Québec, Canada, apparently in the 60s and has since become an essential part of any grease spoon diner in Québec. There has been a few attempts to reinvent the Poutine, probably none so successful as the Foie Gras Poutine at le Pied de Cochon, that I visited recently.
Before going all the way and trying to reproduce that one, I thought I’d try it with something a little less on the expensive side, still amazingly good, veal liver. I have tried all sorts of Poutine in my days, from sausage to steak and all sorts in between but I’ll be honest, this one ranks high, very high. On to the recipe:
- 2-3 medium sized russet potatoes cut in fries shape per person (ideally not too long, 1”-1 ½” long is good.
- ¼ cup of old cheddar (I had a five year old) crumbled into small pieces per person
- 1 nicely sized cutlet of veal liver per person (a quarter inch thick)
- 1 teaspoon of oil
- 1 table spoon of butter
- Frying oil
- Salt and pepper
Gravy (for 1 Poutine):
- 1 glass of red wine
- 1 cup of brown beef or veal stock
- 1 small onion, minced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 tablespoon of flour
- Salt and pepper
I don’t have a fryer so I fried in a stock pot so I put my frying oil in the pot and put it over medium heat to warm up first. If you have a fryer, start it up for frying. In a sauce pan over high heat, brown the onion for a few minutes, add the garlic, fry for 30 seconds and add the stock and the wine. Lower the heat so that it just bubbles away. This will have to reduce by half, in the meantime start your fries.
I do my fries the French way, cook them first in medium heat oil, for a few minutes, then brown them over high heat just before service. When doing the first pass, just dump a whole lot in at a time and don’t worry about the oil descending in temperature, it just will take a tiny bit more time but will save you time in the end. Reserve them on paper towels when the fries seem cooked through, you’ll see they will be all limp. Don’t let them brown! If they brown your oil is too hot.
Now this becomes a little tricky, everything should be done at the same time but if you are quick you will be able to pull it off. First, bring your frying oil to a piping hot temperature. In another sauce pan, cook a brown roux with the butter and the flour (in short melt the butter, when it is melted just add the flour and cook the mixture until it is nice a nice brown-caramel colour). Once the roux is coloured, add the reduced sauce and see it become all thick and wonderful. Remove from heat and reserve. Start browning your fries in the oil in small batches and then reserve on paper towels. Then put on a frying pan on high heat, melt the butter in the oil and add your previously seasoned liver. Brown it well on each side, for a minute or two on each side (depending on how rare you like it). Slice the veal liver into bite size pieces. Adjust seasoning on the gravy if necessary.
Plate it this way: Fries at the bottom, sprinkle the cheese on top, add your liver and pour the gravy on top. Awesome stuff.
Tunes: Shalabi Effect – Unfortunately. This is an awesome improv record from one of the most experienced experimental artists in the Montréal scene. This was recorded over a three day stay at an art gallery a few years ago and shows everything the band can do. From Middle Eastern grooves to face melting noise experiments. Incredible record.