OH Canada… There’s a few things Canadians are known for all over the world, like maple syrup, our cold weather and that we are such nice people. In recent years, we’ve also been known for the delicious and potentially high blood pressure inducing dish called poutine. It originated from Quebec where it is made simply with squeaky cheese curds, perfectly crisp fries and rich gravy.
For the beef, dice the beef into 2 inch cubes. Bring a deep pan to medium heat. Sear the beef on as many sides as possible. Once seared, set the beef aside and place the carrots and onion, face down on the pan to brown. This takes 10 minutes. Once browned, return the beef to the pan, add the red wine and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer. Particles will form and float on the surface and you should skim as much of it off. Add the rosemary, thyme, garlic and Tare. Bring the heat to its lowest setting and braise for about 2 hours. It may be necessary to add a cup of water if the liquid doesn’t cover the meat. Add more water as it braises to keep the meat covered.
Once braising is finished, remove the pieces of beef from the pot, strain and discard only the herbs. Pour the liquid and the cooked vegetables into a blender and puree until smooth. Return to the pot and reduce the braising liquid to about 3 cups. The sauce should be thicker. Add 1 tablespoon of Black Maple. Return the beef to the pot to keep the pieces moist and keep the heat at the lowest setting possible.
Start with preparing the potatoes. Use only russet potatoes. Other varieties just won’t yield that crumbly exterior and will not crisp up very well.
Peel the potatoes if you prefer. Cut them into half-inch thick batons. We need them to be a bit thicker to withstand the multi-step cooking process. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the potatoes and cook for about 30 minutes or until fork tender. Remove the potatoes from the water and place on a tray to cool. Once at room temperature, reserve potatoes in the fridge until you are ready to fry and the other components are complete. The idea is to dry the exterior of the potatoes. This helps to get them crispy.
To deep fry
Use a heavy pot and fill it halfway with canola oil. Preheat it to 375f. Remove the potatoes from the fridge. Once oil has reached temperature, fry the potatoes until golden brown. Careful not to add too many potatoes as it will cause the oil to boil over. It is only the initial few seconds that cause all the bubbling. Fry them for about 3-5 minutes or until golden and crispy. Remove potatoes from the fryer and season with salt. In a bowl, fill it halfway with potatoes, add cheese curds, then add more potatoes and top it with a few more cheese curds. Then pour about a half cup of the braised beef and its reduction. Top it off with even more cheese curds!